Tagged: Stillman & Birn


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.


The work continues. I didn’t want it but that’s besides the point now. It is fascinating to watch a construction site from such a vantage point. I haven’t asked for permission, and doubt that I’d get it, to don a hard hat and get on site to draw. There’s been such an array of Earth moving equipment and now as you can see from the sixth image below, they have started building the central tower for the main crane.

All drawings are with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens on either Tomoe River Paper, in a Moleskine Watercolor sketchbook, or in a Stillman & Birn watercolor sketchbook, or a Hahnemule sketchbook.




I’ve had an unusual and superb vantage point of a demolition and construction site which is directly across the street from my apartment. Never having watched a site from start to finish before I have been surprised by some of the developments. Upon demolishing the existing structure seen above in a snowstorm and just below that at night, the rubble was separated into different materials, i.e. bricks, the reusable ones were stacked on pallets and wrapped, banded and carted away for reuse. Metal materials were hauled away then general rubble was removed. But one of the biggest eye openers was the digging of roughly twenty 25-30’ cylindrical holes that had rebar cages inserted before being filled with concrete. Then, these concrete columns were covered up with the heavy equipment moving to dig the next holes.



drawings executed with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and graphite on Stillman & Birn Nova Series Toned sketchbook, Tomoe River Paper.




Spent a solid month trekkin about the West coast and sat on my duff for a goodly number of hours. It’s the sort of thing that puts demands onyer fashion choices, ie comfy britches with a properly deep inseam and good travel shoes.



The lanscapes below were draw from a bus. The one with the birds on the telephone lines was a 15 minute sketch at a rest stop in southern Oregon, the others were enroute at 60 mph.


All drawings executed with ink, fountain pens, Pitt Artist Brush Pens, Platinum Carbon Ink, in various hbooks, Rhodia, Moleskine, Stillman & Birn, Tomoe River Paper.

After a family reunion in Charlottesville, I rode Amtrak to Philadelphia. I think I drew the City Hall tower once before but no idea where that drawing is.

Got in a brief neck-craning sketch of the Philadelphia City Hall tower. The largest city hall in the country btw. And then as I walked through the outside passageway, I took up a position behind a young man playing the violin. Samuel noticed I was sketching him and told me he is learning on his own as he is no longer taking lessons. He also stated he was delightedly surprised to see I in fact got him playing southpaw, which he is. Normally, he has been drawn as a righty. Whaa…? Play on brother.

Pitt Pens in a Stillman & Birn Gamma series sketchbook.

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