Monday, August 25, 2008

Back in Maine

These were done on the long plane ride home. Some sketches while waiting in the airport and others done from the magazines on the plane.

I arrived on Tuesday, brother and sister on Wednesday, and Alex came home on Saturday. School starts on Wednesday. I'm looking for time to sketch. I'm sure I'll find it soon enough...

Guess the vacation is officially over!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mapping the Rides

I love maps. I like looking down on them and imagining what it's like to be there or go from this place to that place. One of the first things I did when I arrived in Girona was to find a good map that showed all the roads and the elevations of places. The scale is important too. Every night before the next days ride we would study the map and chart our course. And most evenings after a good days ride I would map out the actual ride in my sketchbook. I'm glad I did. I look at these maps now and I remember so much about the rides - the weather, the people, mountains and valleys. I can easily go there in my mind. I love maps.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last days in Girona

The trip to Spain gave me the opportunity to take a closer look at the work of 3 famous artists - Pablo Picasso, Antoni Gaudi, and Salvador Dali. I got to see not only their work, but the places they lived in and the environment that nurtured their creativity. I have no idea why the work of these 3 artists strikes such a chord with so many people but I think a part of it is that all of these artist were passionate about their work and followed their creative muse. They all seemed to be willing to experiment with new mediums, techniques and expressions. They didn't find an endpoint and stand on it. They kept searching, exploring, and creating.

That is inspiring to me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Houses of Onyar

Back in the middle ages these houses presented a much different facade to the river. Then, this was a solid and impenetrable containing wall to defend against invaders. Over time, with the disappearance of external enemies, windows, balconies, porches and other openings began to appear. Somehow it has managed to achieve a colorful harmony and is a big part of the charm of Girona .

This was a fun sketch to do. I made two buildings a story taller than they actually were by mistake but I like how it all turned out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


These are a couple of fairly quick sketches done while we were in Tossa del Mar on the coast. I was pretty tired when I did these so they are pretty loose and not at all quite right. Today is a rest day - no riding but I did do some sketches - also went to the farmers market.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

In Girona

On Thursday we went on our first ride.There is a good 5 mile climb in the middle of the ride up to Sant Marti Sacalm. This is a ride that some of the the pros do when they are training. Among the American pros, I think Tom Danielson currently holds the record and Tyler Hamilton held it before him. It is not really steep - just consistently uphill with no relief. I felt great and the weather was perfect - cool and overcast. Near the top though, my quads were screaming "stop! stop!" . The ride home was a struggle.

On Friday we rode toward the coast. A cyclist at a bike shop in town recommended this ride. It was beautiful and the coast was spectacular. Unfortunately, I was suffering because of my effort the day before, the heat, and not being used to the length of the rides. Nancy and her mom, Adela, picked us up near Tossa, our meeting point. We had a nice afternoon on the beach and I walked up to Vila Vella and did some sketching. The video above was taken along the road to Calonge.

I did a little more work on this sketch...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Last Days in Barcelona

Could be works in progress but probably I won't go further - too much to draw here! The bottom drawing is La Pedrera, another building by Gaudi. I drew this a couple of nights ago. It was a fun drawing because it had such a large field of view -and it was Gaudi! I'm in Girona now to do some cycling but hopefully I'll get some sketching in as well.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Arc del Triunf

On the way to the Picasso Museum I stopped and drew the Arc del Triunf. I love drawing because it forces me to really look at something and understand proportion and scale and color. I take away so much more with me as a result of drawing it. And although I seek a wonderful drawing or image as a result of my effort, it is not always the result.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Gaudi Portrait

Done on a tablet with Artrage. The idea to do this drawing comes from the colorful mosaic tiles Gaudi used and the organic serpentine shapes from Parc Guell. Artrage is a really neat software and it has a "glitter" tool, which I hardly ever use, except to play around with Alex but I thought it might be an interesting tool to do this drawing. Maybe if I worked at it I could get closer to the effect I was going for. The background comes from the main doors to Sagrada Familia.

Sagrada Familia

Yesterday, I walked up to the Sagrada Familia. Nothing really prepared me for its impact. It is an amazing building - monumental in vision, effort, imagination, and inspiration. My understanding of Gaudi has grown and my respect has deepened as a result of being here. Before I came I believed his work to be modern, fantastic and lunatic but now I see how much effort he made to integrate natural organic forms and geometry to create functional and inspirational architecture that people would use and love. I made this sketch from where I had lunch (the waiter was quite interested in my sketches). It is but a small portion of the lower east facade. The whole building is a work in progress with scaffolding and machinery all around it.

The sketches above were done while touring the interior of the church. The photo below is of the main entrance.

Friday, August 1, 2008

La Rambla and Parc Guell

La Rambla is an amazing street in Barcelona. Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca said "it is the only street in the world which I wish would never end". It is lined with trees, shops, restaurants, kiosks, street performers and throngs of tourists. The police car drawing was done while taking a rest in a courtyard just off la Rambla . The other drawing is a fairly quick sketch of an industrial looking building turned into a marketplace. I did this one on the walk back from Parc Guell.

I an finding that where I draw is more important than what I draw. In Spain, at this time of year, I'm looking for a cool spot with a breeze and a place to sit down. This is drawn looking out toward the city from the Hall of Columns. The colorful serpentine tile benches are above this hall. The difference in temperature between above and below is about 15° (F). Again, the crowds of people are missing. I need them here to add scale to the drawing. the base of these columns is about 5' tall.

The scene I was drawing from above.