|3/19/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown and Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo inks, Sailor pen, Zig markers, Canson XL 140 lb. paper|
Some days are like this.
The strong wind, predicted rain and solid, gray sky didn’t bode well for outdoor sketching, so I headed out for Zoka Coffee as I often do on days like this – except it was so crowded that I couldn’t find a single empty seat.
Annoyed but undaunted, I left and decided to look for a cherry tree or something else I could sketch from my car. Driving through a few familiar neighborhoods, I spotted one or two power line-mutilated trees I could have sketched, but the available parking near those trees wouldn’t give me the angle I needed.
I’ve been wanting to sketch the ongoing construction at the new light rail station, and I remembered that Roosevelt High School’s parking lot looked like it might give me a partial view. I was hoping I’d get there around the time school let out, but I was too early, so the lot was still full. Thwarted again.
Finally, only a few blocks from home, I spotted massive twin trees that had both been chopped away through the center, and the whole block was empty – at last, something to sketch and somewhere to park!
I hadn’t even gotten a pen out yet when I heard a plunk and then a plunk-plunk. Hail stones were bouncing on my windshield! If it was like most hailstorms around here, it would stop in a few minutes, so I started to sketch. The hail, mixed with rain, started falling faster, so I had to keep turning on the wipers. Sketching the trees as quickly as possible, I was filling in the darker areas when my trusty Sailor ran out of ink. I made do by washing the lines with a waterbrush.
By then the rain/hail was coming down so hard and fast that I felt a splash on my shoulder (I drive an 18-year-old convertible with a soft top that doesn’t seal completely), so I had to lean slightly away from the side window to keep my sketch dry. The wipers couldn’t keep up. I got out my light gray Zig marker, thinking I would simply show the rain – and that marker was practically dry, too! The sketch was done, whether I wanted it to be or not.
Despite my series of frustrations, I’ll end this post on a hopeful note: Even mutilated, those trees were covered with tiny buds. Spring is near.