I also say goodbye to my mesh scooter jacket, acquired this year for those oh-so-hot summer days we had. Put away for the winter, I’ll bring it out for the hot days in 2016. It’s rather feminine, unlike my warmer jacket, and got a little bit of attention, although the scooter gets most of the attention around here!
The leaves are always great color practice, which I definitely can use.
I also said goodbye to this sketchbook, started in March 2014, finally filled it with these two sketches tonight.
At least I can say hello to (several!) new sketchbooks! 😉
It really feels that way, it just didn’t happen in this lifetime.
Over a decade ago, I was collecting and painting things related to Africa-
A journal and a box of saved letters
A few of my earliest watercolor efforts, “The Blue Men of Africa” attempted twice, the second time with ink and watercolor.
Blue men of Africa in watercolor
Blue men of Africa in ink and watercolor
I scanned old National Geographic magazines for images that appealed to me:
A holiday card image one year
I’d love to imagine that these previous longings and efforts will prepare me for my upcoming Moroccan adventure, but I know better. When I arrive, the sounds and people and activities can overwhelm me. My best chance to feel like I’m “home” will be to find the silence: of the desert, or the Atlas mountains, or even just a quiet corner away from the hustle and bustle of the marketplace.
The journal pictured above is empty. I plan to bring it and fill it with words and images that belong in it.
I’ll start with the word “wonderment”, and continue from there.
Ok, I’m spilling the beans. I’m headed to Morocco.
I’m going with artists who take other artists to beautiful locations around the world.
While they are making art, and possibly trying to tutor me, I’ll be doing my usual scribbles, then adding color to them.
For those who have forgotten their geography lessons – here’s where Morocco is. I’ll first get to Madrid, then head over to Marrakesh, then a car ride to Essaouira.
The reason I’m blabbing is because I just saw something that makes me believe that
I’m going on a journey to an apparently magical place.
Why magical? Well, one of the trip coordinators told me to google “goats in argan trees.”
I mean, here, our goats just chill on the ground. Where I’m going, they hang out in trees!
Seen on google maps!
Really? So, obviously, I then wondered about the so-called Marrakesh express and was it a real train, or was it “magical” (or smoke induced) taking you to see magical things like goats in trees.
But apparently, this song is a straightforward description of an actual train ride Graham Nash took in North Africa.
In the beginning, as a wealthy Englishman, he was travelling first class in a luxurious private suite. But after a while, he decided it would be more interesting to move to another car, where ordinary Arabs and poorer tourists ride.
In the back cars, the ordinary Arabs really do travel with their livestock. Nash found that he had a lot more fun travelling among the working class Arabs and lower class tourists than with other rich people. Disclaimer: This may or may not be true. I found it on the World Wide Web. 😉
All aboard that tra-a-ain.
Just know that when I return, and I’m sharing sketches of goats in trees, and magic carpets and purple camels (I just made that up), it’s probably not drug induced, or from those worms that crawl in your ears and slowly eat your brain, although now that I’ve thought about that I might wear earplugs at night. Just in case.
“Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.” – W. C. Fields
My first huge solo scooter trip was to Ithaca. Yep, less than 50 miles each way. But still, a pretty big step for me.
Well, you need a clean start, right?
I had some kind of mental block about what was needed and how it worked for the GPS mount. So, I sketched it! The best way to understand something!
I also have a charger wire connected to the battery for it.
What could have been a nice relaxing sketch trip, ended up with only one sketch! Alas, somehow I felt the need to get there and back as quickly as possible. What’s that about smelling the roses? Not this time!
Oh right, I promised another clue about my upcoming trip:
It’s on the other side of the Atlantic.
Way back in July, I had the honor of hosting Stephanie Yue, aka Quezzie.
She has an entertaining ride report on Adventure riders, as well as a blog: 250superhero.blogspot.com. She recently completed a more than 30,000 mile solo ride to travel the four corners of the continental US. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, she did it all on her 250cc Vespa! (Did you notice the “solo” part?)
Her overnight visit began in Ithaca, NY, where my friend Jim and I scooted to the Scooter Shop to meet her. We then stopped at some falls (of course, it’s Ithaca!) and then the Blind Tiger for a cold one (of course, no reason not to!) before ending at my house for dinner.
She is great company, and an amazing person, I’m so glad I have the chance to meet her!
She also inspired me to try more long-distance rides, but the only place I’ve gotten so far is a solo trip back to Ithaca. Oh well, I have put nearly 3,000 local miles on the scoot this year, and that is an accomplishment for me!
Here’s a few sketches (finally scanned, I’m still behind!) from that visit:
Back in March 2014, I was in Positano, you may have seen my post before.
But, I just went through my sketchbook and found several sketches that weren’t scanned in.
On a different subject and a different trip:
A little clue about an upcoming trip I’ll be taking – it is titled “Blue boats beneath golden ramparts.”
And, surprise – one of my Italy sketches last year was of their blue boats! Coincidence?
Clue #2 – the trip won’t be in Europe! Hehe, more clues will follow!
This blue heron was hanging out with a few others, seems they were showing off to a friend of mine, who caught several images on camera.
These wading birds stand like a statue, but are lightning-quick to grab a fish.
A very relaxed Saturday, I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I sat around and watched “Wildest India” episodes. I have to say, that was an amazing show! The photography was superb, I learned so much about India that now I want to visit there, and every episode made me want to pause it and grab my sketchbook. Finally, when they started about the elephants, I went and got my pens and paper, and did this quick sketch.
Aren’t elephants the most beautiful and fascinating creatures?