Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Travel Sketchpad, Part 3

 These are more entries from my sketchpad, continued from my previous post.  As I mentioned, I always keep a small sketchpad in my purse, using it as a 'recipe book,' if you will, for ideas for future paintings, and for memories.

This first sketch was done in a restaurant called Kurobata, where we had THE BEST Japanese food we have EVER had, bar none.  I particularly liked the garage-style work lights they had everywhere.  The atmosphere was fun and the people friendly. I even had our waiter sign his name down in the bottom left corner.  This restaurant was close to our hotel in London, in the Marble Arch area.  We walked around looking for a place to eat and innocently wandered in here.

 This page is some of the graffiti art I found on the streets of London.  You never know what you will find, and I find it all fascinating.

The graffiti sticker on the next page I found in Brugge, Belgium - a rarity to find graffiti - what a clean place!  Brugge is called 'The Venice of the North' and leans heavily on tourism. These people are seriously fanatical about keeping their streets clean, and it was really one of the most beautiful cities I've seen.
While in London, we went to Queen's rock opera, "We Will Rock You."  Wow!  It was GREAT!  As you can never take photos in a show like this, I made some sketches in the dark.  You can see that this drawing is really loose and imprecise - remember - I was drawing in the dark!  I actually do this a lot during shows.  If my work is imperfect, it doesn't matter - I've recorded it for my own memories and cherish them. Each time I look at them, it brings back the show in detail.  Later that night, I added the color with a little field watercolor kit I'd purchased down by the National Museum.

 I like this one.  We rented a car, actually, a new BMW with six on the floor with a LEFT handed shifter, the driver's side on the RIGHT, and drove out of London to Canterbury on the LEFT side of the road. Hoping for a nice change from hotels, we had booked a bed and breakfast there, and were delighted.  We had a room in the upper floor of an extremely old home, and this was our view - the rooftops of other homes!  Note - the chimneys are terra cotta, as well as the roof tiles.
The rubbing over the picture I did somewhere in Canterbury as we walked around.

We stayed in Canterbury a couple days and then headed over to Dover, right on the English Channel.  Our plans were to take a ferry to France and drive up to Belgium.
We were amazed at the SIZE of our ferry boat - I was expecting a typical boat the size of the ones here in the U.S.  Nope.  It was more like a small cruise ship.  These ply the waters between England and Europe and do a brisk business.
As we waited for our ferry (on the way back) we counted 98 semi trucks with loads coming off the boat.  That was the bottom floor of the ferry.  The next to the bottom floor is trucks, cars, bikes, motorcycles, etc.  Then the next two levels are reserved for people, with restaurants, shopping, etc.
ANYWAY, this little drawing is what I saw looking down at the docks from our vantage point high up in the ferry.  A small boat, with a few men working around it, loading something down onto the deck.
Each one of these drawings were simple and quick to lay down, but gave me the chance to take a moment and look closely.  When I look at them, the memories come back powerful and precise.  Whether or not I make anything 'professional' out of them, they have already served me well.

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