Tuesday, December 9, 2008

En Plein Air, or just plain comfy?

I love the view from our loft.  Actually, the view from just about anywhere up here is lovely given the right light and time of day.  I think I've painted this particular building in the foreground about 8 times now!   I went over to the Gunbarrel after I did these two, and sketched inside while I nursed a bowl of soup.

This sketchbook is just about finished.  I just have to paint the back page, and it's done!  I get such a kick out of making these little books.  Can't wait for our Mayan Riviera trip in January; two weeks of painting blue-green water, palapa roofs and palm trees instead of snow, pine trees and timber frame buildings.  I said a change (a change), will do you good.

Monday, December 8, 2008

On the Greyhound

Here's the sketchbook page that I used to do the lino cut.  The bus trip reminded me of bus trips past; taking a Greyhound at 20 when I moved to Las Vegas with my brother's girlfriend Kathy, and home again a few months later.   I took another one to Brandon, Manitoba a year later when I went there for University.  Both trips were long but fascinating.  Not so sure I'd use it to cross a country anymore, but I do love that sense of adventure.  

Where'd My Van Go?

Where'd My Van Go?
Originally uploaded by sketchalina
I started this sketch while stopped at a road closure between Kelowna and Penticton. I got only as far as the line drawing of the rear view mirror when the road reopened and I had to move on. I figured I'd finish it the next time I was caught, or even pull over somewhere where there was a great view forward and in the mirror and catch it then. I got to Penticton and left the van behind our building while we drove the Jeep up the hill for the night. Of course that was the night the van was stolen. Now that the model (the van) was gone and never to be seen again, I thought I'd play with the page.

I'm reading a book right now called "The Van Gogh Assignment", about a writer who's given three weeks to write an article about Van Gogh for his magazine.  During his research he puts together some facts about Van Gogh that were at that point unknown, and unearths an overlooked drawing from the bottom of an old box of photos in someone's forgotten attic!  Great book.  It's by Kenneth Wilkie, written in 1978, and is still a great read for any Van Gogh fans. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Austin - and my first ski run in oh, eight years!

Originally uploaded by sketchalina
Did this portrait of Austin last night. I love his crazy curls (and everything else about him). Can't wait until he's home for Christmas. I did this off a photo I pulled from his facebook page.

It's finally snowing again, and we just got back from doing our first few ski runs of the year. My first run on skis, actually, in eight years! I've been snowboarding, but after my last bump on the head, which resulted in an ambulance ride and basically missing a Christmas thanks to a painkiller induced haze, I've decided it's time to go back to my roots. I spent my teen years and early 20's skiing, racing and instructing. I switched to boarding so Aus and I could learn together when he was 10. It feels good to be back. Turns out it IS just like riding a bike. I felt pretty solid on my feet. Yay!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

12:15 Greyhound to Kelowna

I found myself on the bus to Kelowna today. My brother and I had swapped cars last week; my shiny new convertible for his old van. I headed to the parking lot on Friday, van keys in hand, when I discovered it wasn't there. Hmmm. Who steals a 1998 Transport Van?! Apparently someone. I've been stranded these past few days, and finally yesterday hopped on a Greyhound to go pick up my car. I did a sketch on the bus that later turned into my first lino cut. What an interesting process, thinking only "light, dark". I'll be doing more of these.

It made me think of the poem that Austin wrote for Grip Magazine when he was in high school. It's a poem born of the emotional scars he bares because his mother (me) made him ride the Greyhound back at Vancouver. When I was a kid, we had to WALK to Vancouver. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. I'll find the poem and post it. It (like Austin) is very cool.

Ah, found it!

Bus Ride - by Austin Holm
The rough and tumble trundling
of the bus jolts me along an Okanagan road.
Outside, one farmer's field melts 
into another
into another
into another.
Like skin coloured M&Ms:
who's to say if it's melting
in my mouth or hands 
eyes or brain
or if it melted before I even saw it.

Roadside landscapes are fluid:
They just go round and round.

Hours on a bus can be like that.

The girl in front of me is beautiful,
and smiling and cold and still wearing the heavy perfume of last stop's cigarettes,
flavouring her with a kind of hidden mysticism.
She reminds me of a Japanese temple:
coins clinking into coffers
and prayer bells ringing to the olfactory backdrop of the monks cigar tainted breath
and slow burning sticks of oriental incense.

I am wondering
if she is coming or going.

I'm afraid I'll lose my ticket and just wander from stop to stop
the Austin on the Bus
going round and round, 
until they find me out
and kick me off
into an indistinct farmer's field.