Central City Restaurant

I love drawing complex things like old buildings or machinery, but these things are becoming more and more rare in our pristine surburban environments. I know, I know — I need to get out of the suburbs and into the real world. I found the source for this drawing in Giant Robot magazine, which is something of a cop-out for me because the main purpose of carrying a sketchbook is so I can draw things at will in the field. Slices of life.
Recently, a co-worker asked me, “Do you plan to take lots of pictures when you go to Yellowstone.”
I responded that, “Yes I plan to take my sketchbook and draw lots of pictures.”
Drawings allow me to enter the scene to feel as though I am a part of the place and give me a connection to the place long after the trip is over.

I Can See France, …

Wednesday I took an afternoon off to break up the week and recharge. Work has been stressing lately and I desperately need a vacation. What do I do when I have time to myself? Why, go drawing of course. I’ve been fascinated by machinery lately so I took to drawing this truck that was parked in my neighborhood.
I soon realized that I was not going to be able to finish my drawing in the time I had so I took out my handy digital camera and took a picture. My time was waning, but I took some time to walk to the photo place and have them print up a copy of the picture. 51 cents and I had a nice reference photo that I used to finish off the drawing with the kind of detail that jives me.

Mid-Summer Doodle


Last week I was sent to a class for work and I couldn’t help but pull out my sketchbook and start sketching. I was a bit miffed when the lady beside me asked me if I always ‘doodle.’
Am I only doodling? I think of doodling as something done absentmindedly and without much intent; when I draw I try to make a record of where I am and my state of mind.
In other words, I sketch with the intent of making something – of making art (Bold statement, Trish, trying to make art sounds so pompous – so lofty!).
As if trying to be deliberately contradictory, the picture above is of a doodle I drew in my class textbook.

Botanical Gardens, July 18

Jacob, Beka, their Mother and I went to the Botanical Garderns in D.C. Sunday after hiking on Saturday. My feet were still sore so I said I was going to go find a place to sit and draw. I found a bench in the jungle and set about drawing this coconut tree for about 45 minutes while the other members of the group wandered about the gardens observing plants.

Are You Giving Me the Evil Eye?

The driver of this car eyed me nervously while I stood against a fence and drew her car as I waited for Eleonore to come for lunch.
I’ve been drawing in public for a number of years so I’m fairly comfortable with it. I usually don’t volunteer my sketchbook to people that I’m drawing unless they talk to me first.
Normally people will try to sneak around me and look over at my sketchpad from behind. There was no way for her to maneuver behind me so I didn’t expect her to venture over and talk to me anytime soon.

Dentist Office

In order to relax myself I pulled out my sketchbook while at the dentist’s office to get a crown on one of my molars. I was surprised when both of the nurses I talked to told me that they created art. A nurse from Bombay, who talked to me for a long time, told me that she had begun painting abstracts in acrylic after a long time away from doing art of any kind. The second nurse, a single mom, told me that she drew as well, but used words abstracted into objects. I’m not sure what the final outcome of her work would look like, but I’m sure that it would be interesting. At any rate it was nice to connect to people of vastly different backgrounds in a creative way.

Art Bag Laid Bare


Which art materials do I carry today?

  1. Sketchbooks – here a small Moleskine and a Cachet Watercolor book
  2. Fountain Pens
  3. Rotring Rapidoliner (size .18)
  4. Brushes (size 3 and 4)
  5. Sanford Pro-Touch .05 mechanical and a 4F Woodless Graphite pencil
  6. Staedtler Pigment Liner (sizes .005, .01, 03, 07) and a Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser
  7. Niji Waterbrush (small)
  8. Faber Castell Pitt Brush Pen (light grey and black)
  9. 6 inch steel ruler
  10. Sephora make-up bag
  11. Winsor and Newton travel set (with Daniel Smith Watercolors)
  12. Altoids tin (with Daniel Smith Watercolors) with a sheet of paper towel


I’ve been working through a case of creative block for the past few weeks. There is too much going on to be in the right frame of mind to draw interesting pictures. The only way through is to keep working so I keep filling sketchbooks with lots of unsatisfactory results – too heavy lines, dull colors, and uninteresting shapes.

Hanging shelves

We went to Home Despot and bought the burliest looking drywall anchors that we could find, “E-Z Toggle” self-drilling toggle bolts, to hang Trish’s new studio shelves with. After a frustrating evening in which one after the other failed for one reason or another, we finally had four of them fastened into the wall, the brackets on, and the shelf resting squarely atop them. Then Trish put a few books on, and the shelf pulled the anchors halfway back through the wall, dumping the books all over her and ripping the wallboard to shreds, revealing that even those bolts which seemed to have deployed didn’t work right.

if you use e-z bolts.jpg

Continue reading “Hanging shelves”

Cicadas Are Everywhere


Here in D.C. we’re finally seeing (and hearing) cicadas everywhere. Normally we hear some cicadas every year, but this year is the culmination of the 17 year cycle so there are millions of the thumb sized bugs hitting the capital (much like tourists in the summer). Unlike tourists these little insects are harmless and have no interest in seeing the Washington Monument.