I was wandering around a place called Domain Maizeret, a large park not far from my house. There is a huge building in the middle of the park where most of the activity is centered and around it is forested land with walk paths so we can go in and feed the mosquitoes.
When I saw this scene I didn’t see a garbage can. I saw a sentry, bravely holding up its “no bicycles” sign as it protected the forest entry from marauding bicyclists. I decided to do another paint first experiment. Some day I’ll do one that doesn’t fail, or that fails to a lesser degree. I don’t expect progress overnight (grin).
I had fun with this one, mostly because I just couldn’t get the sentry idea out of my head. While I was sketching, not a single bicyclist got past the sentry. I do hope walkers appreciate its effort.
A confession and apology to Stillman & Birn
I’ve been using Stillman & Birn sketchbooks almost exclusively for about eight years. When I started with them they didn’t have all the products they have today, but I bought a pile of Alpha-series 10×7 spiral-bound landscape books and I filled them. As they came out with other options I tried those too, though Alpha and Beta series are my favorites. I’ve filled a bunch of their newer softcover books as well. When they released their 3×5 books I started using those, replacing the cheap small books I’d used for quick-sketching people.
But there was a time that I used the small Moleskine (landscape) watercolor books. I loved their covers but always felt that the larger landscape books became unwieldy when balanced on my knee. So I joined the throngs of people
asking begging Moleskine to produce portrait versions of these sketchbooks. In spite of repeated letter-writing campaigns, they never did and since S&B was serving my needs I didn’t much care.
But Moleskine finally answered the call, with both A5 and A4 versions in portrait format. I didn’t buy one… at first, but eventually I started feeling guilty that I’d whined so loudly ‘back then’ and yet hadn’t bought one now that they were producing them. And so I did buy one.
The sketch above was the first sketch in my new A5 Moleskine book. I feel like I’m cheating on S&B by using the darn thing (grin). S&B have been there, thick and thin, relieving me of the burden of finding the right sketchbook.
I tell myself that I haven’t stopped using S&B sketchbooks and its true. Right now I carry two of them next to this new Moleskine. Still I feel guilty. I also feel bad that now I have a sketchbook to fill that has paper that’s not as good as my other sketchbooks. Serves me right for being a cheater (grin).