Tagged: sketching in public


Flew to Italy on Xmas to join my beloved Giamila and her family on the Ligurian Coast at the beautiful town of Sestri Levante for eight days and then travel together by train back to spend 5 days in her hometown of Milano.

Giamila, her mother, father, brother and sister-in-law had already taken a train to Sestri Levante, so when I flew  in to Milano, I had to hop on a train that took me into the main train station, Milano Centrale where I then boarded another train for a two hour plus ride to join up with them. As I speak no Italian, Giamila taught me a couple phrases to aid me in finding the right train. “Scuzi, dov’é il treno per La Spezi”?

Being that I hadn’t switched to a European SIM card in my cell phone, if I headed off in the wrong direction, it would have required some serious focus on the part of a traveler who didn’t sleep on the 12 hour trip from Chicago to Italy to get back on track.

All worked according to plan and Giamila met me with huge smile and warm embrace at the train station of a glorious seaside town whose views, baked goods, and seafood were off the charts.

The above drawing is an imaginary landscape drawn during the train ride,  the very smooth train ride I might add, back to Milano.


Drawn with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens, fountain pens, Platinum Carbon Ink, in Hanemühle, Tomoe River Paper, and Stillman & Birn Nova Series sketchbooks.


Spent half a day in the much, and justifiably, heralded Museum of WWII in New Orleans. Managed this sketch of a B17 Flying Fortress from a cat walk about 5 stories above the exhibit floor.

Next to my hotel in Metairie was a construction site where men were driving wood poles into the ground. On Sunday, when they took the day off, I ambled over to draw the site, only to have to seek shelter at the adjacent grocery store when the clouds let loose a soaking downpour. After waiting out the storm by having lunch, I returned to the same spot and finished the drawing of the now gooey site.

F-C Coconut barrel Ambition fountain pen, Platinum Carbon ink,  Pitt Artist Pens

Getting in some quality time at the Evanston Public Library. Pitt Artist Pens and a Graf Von Faber Classic Ebony fountain pen filled with Platinum Carbon ink on Tomoe River Paper.

Just drawing the full figure from life enough these days. So this past Thursday and Friday I put in a little time but still got caught up in the partials.

Steven Assael happened to be at the Palette & Chisel teaching a workshop and sat in on the Friday night life drawing session. I was behind him for a couple of poses and enjoyed watching him draw as I sheet he’d him n the act. Also included are a few head studies acquired in transit.


Various inks, fountain pens, Pitt Artist Pens, Seven Seas Tomoe River Paper.

Got on the CTA to head downtown for a job and saw this gentleman get off the north bound train at Howard, it’s final destination, cross over to the south bound platform, board the train, and fall to sleep. The trains run all but 4 hours a day I believe and it is possible, if homeless, and cold, to spend most of the day at least warm, and dry. I’ve asked myself how I would manage if I became homeless, and until such a time that I face that possibility I’m speculating. Where would I have parked the belongings such as books, artwork, clothes, other things way more than I could carry around, or pay for at a storage unit, or leave at a friend’s garage. Whatever the circumstances a person goes thru that would deliver them to the state of homelessness, and there are several, loss of employment, debt load, broken family, mental illness, addiction, I personally can’t image the ability to endure that hardship for long. A very good friend of mine did wind up on the streets after a long, slow decline thru poor financial decisions, substance abuse, frustration with career struggles, wearing out the welcome of friends who tried to help him. In the end, he gradually poisoned himself with alcohol till he had a systemic collapse. It was his way of killing himself, of that I’m sure. I would try to see him on return trips to the city he lived in and towards the very end, the loss of will, and his mental and emotional decline sealed his fate.

Now, as my generation gets old and the possibility of safety nets and affordable health care and affordable housing seem anything but certain, this challenge has become too possible for a frightening number amoung us.

My generation became obsessed with how they were going to get their children into good schools and pay for insanely expensive college degrees. Having cleared those hurdles, the conversations will definitely turn to their wellbeing and management of their August years.


  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tags

  • blog links