Tagged: ledger book

Cali Zephyr

Passengers on the Fall Trek. Above, a very nice gentleman gets his first look at the Rockies.

image image image image image image image

Amtrak, Metra, CTA, Megabus, Trailways, Uber….as long as my hands aren’t glued to a steering wheel, I’ll make my way around the country and fill my sketchbooks. Fountain pens, juiced up with Platinum Carbon, Pitt Artist Pens, grease pencils, aka the white China markers, ballpoint, the rare color pencil, gel pens, whatever, in ledger books, watercolor pads, Stillman & Birn, Strathmore, Clairefontaine, Tomoe River Paper and then some. Drawing from life, from nudes, landscapes, urban environments, transit passengers, dead animals, cemeteries, laundromats, drawing out of my head and out of my mind….just answering the calling and feeding the obsession.

Oxbow photo-527 photo-529

Swung into California, SFO to be specific, and headed by bus to Napa catching the young fellow above napping en route. He later awoke to see me drawing and commented favorably on my drawing. Owner of a landscaping business and a super nice dude. Glorious weather, and made a culinary discovery that could turn things around for many friends of mine who dislike raw oysters. Grill ’em! Came upon them at Hog Island Oyster Company in the Oxbow Public Market.

Napa across from Flax SF

Pasadena City Hall Little Dancer

Gear used: grease pencil, Pelikan M215 (which I have since lost), Pitt Artist Pens, other fountain pens, ledger book, Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. The value of pens lost on the road is getting to pile up. I might be nearing $2,000 just in lost fountain pens. The drawing of Degas’ Little Dancer was done in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.

Gary Torres  Steve Saitzyk Amara

And yes, that cup of chocolate was decadent and nearly thick as pudding.


roadside marker

Ah, the glorious Northwest. I can’t go there often enough. This last trip took me to Seattle by air, flew to Bozeman, then by car to Missoula, Spokane, Pullman and back to Spokane. And finally, after hearing so much about the Palouse I went into the heart of that great agrarian region. Reached the Palouse just after the combines had harvested the wheat and lentil crops and had begun the flash burn and plowing under the fields.

Hotel Montvale in the heart of the Palouse Christian Jewel Divine mime A Mime B Monroe bridge  Denver airport Moody's  litho study b litho study 2


Back in Chicago working on a litho at Anchor Graphics Studio before heading out to California. Jumping back and forth between ledger books, a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook and toned paper sketchbooks by Utrecht and Strathmore. No surprises with the tools I’m using, Pitt Pens, grease pencils, fountain pens. On the road I made big use of my Pelikan M215, broad nib, rich f and Pelikano Juniors but for the brief time I’m home I’m working the Graf von Faber Guilloche Chevron broad point. Platinum Carbon ink and Noodler’s Ottoman Blue. Since I draw with my fingers as well I notice the Noodler’s and many water soluble fountain pen inks really stain the skin more tenaciously than Pitt Pen ink or even Platinum Carbon. Not totally sure what this means in the long run but…the older I get, the less I’ll sweat that.

double snooze photo-496 photo-498 photo-501 photo-499 photo-500 photo-503 photo-505 photo-508 photo-510 photo-509 photo-506 photo-507 photo-502 photo-497

I have a solo show at Rockford College opening this Thursday, Feb. 2nd. The above image is just a section of a 7′ x 20′ composite/collaged wall piece comprised of individual pages from various sketchbooks over the last 28 years. Molly Carter is the director/curator of the gallery, helped me put up this wall piece and did a super job with some help from artist/printmaker/uber mench Dave Menard installing the rest of the show.


These drawings are on every kind of paper, vellum, ledger, bristol, onion skin, recycled, and drawn with ball point, gel, India ink, gouache, water color, Pitt Artist Pens, felt pens, Sharpies, colored pencils, fountain pen inks such as Noodler’s, Iroshizuku, Calli, Diamine, Platinum Carbon,  also grease pencil, (aka- China marker), Tom Bow, Daler Rowney F.W. acrylic inks, Staedler, and probably a few other pens no longer in production.




Well, it’s Butt Nekkid Time again. New Year’s Day finds me once more at The Palette and Chisel for their 12 hour life drawing marathon. Jumped on the Red Line at 7 AM and made it to the Palette and chisel a bit before 8 AM to a good and growing crowd. Threw in some end of the year studies about town for good measure.


It’d been a wile since I’d ventured into the Palette and Chisel. Didn’t get any stellar results thou I like the one of Brittany and the seated drawing of Melissa. The ledger book I’m currently drawing in was given to me by Stuart Balclomb. The preexisting ballpoint writing was done with such pressure that the pages feel not unlike seersucker fabric and are fun to draw on. At first the surface seemed a little waxy to me and I thought the pages were resisting some inks. But I’ve been using the Pitt Artist Pen, ballpoints, gel pens, and fountain pen and ink. The inks have been, Iroshizuku, Platinum Carbon, Noodler’s, and Levenger’s. I can’t tell if the sheets have been inconsistently sized or if all the handling has made parts of some pages respond to the inks differently, but there has been a touch of resistance and feathering. The paper was made for ballpoint and that stuff goes down like a champ.

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tags

  • blog links