travel sketch

Camp Winnarainbow 2015


fountain pen and watercolor in Strathmore mixed media sketchbook, 5.5 X 8in

Camp Winnarainbow.  Fun to be a kid at camp again, sleep in a teepee, do arts and crafts and dance class and Zen clowning, and swim in the lake when it gets too hot and wear costumes, oh, and sketch!


Wavy Gravy still at it!  Officiating at a game of Beach Blanket Bingo by Lake Veronica.


Hearty delicious meals under the trees with Wavy reading poetry in the morning and “cabaret” performances in the evening.


Back at home I had more time to sketch, from my pictures, some of my favorite camp personalities, like Mr. YooWho. . .


Hiroko, the Butoh teacher.


J. J. Crashbang


Juan Too Many

Other art projects at camp. . .felted dreadlocks and rainbow tie dye t-shirts.  Now that I’m home again, I’ve shed some of my hippy dippiness, but in my heart of hearts. . .


Toned Paper Sketching


fountain pen, brush pen, Sharpie Paint Pen (white), gouache in Strathmore Toned Tan sketchbook

The recent lesson in Sketchbook Skool’s “Stretching” course was with Miguel Herranz, who does the most wonderful sketches on toned paper, so here are some stabs at that lesson.  The paper is meant for dry media but takes a light wash of watercolor or gouache  Gouache is better for this because it’s creamy and sits on top of the paper opaquely, (or at least could if I put enough on!)

This is a usual scene for me, eating breakfast in the car after Jazzercise.  Sitting behind the driver’s wheel however is not the best place to sketch – too cramped, but it was too chilly outside and the comfort of a cushioned seat and warmth won out!


On Saturday three of us lined up on a bench in Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square to fill the page with whatever story unfolded before us.  This working on toned paper is challenging in all sorts of new ways.  Maybe by the time I work my way through this new sketchbook I’ll get the hang of it.  I like the way you have to make decisions about value and color based on design and making readable contrast, rather than matching what you see with “realistic” color.


What started out as an overcast morning, with not much happening except cars driving by, became a sunny day with lots of colorful activity, including a march against Monsanto, complete with marching band (which unfortunately was too late in the day to sketch on site). This is another spread which captures just a bit of it.

Last chapter: Bahamas


These Bahamians have a thing for color.  I mean the interior walls of the little airport at Marsh Harbor are bright salmon and lime green.  And the historic kerosene fueled lighthouse in Hope Town with its candy cane exterior is hot pink and green on the interior!  It’s enough to make a sketchbooker froth at the mouth.  And the sea is so many constantly shifting shades of green and blue that I found my little two by three inch watercolor travel palette to be insufficient to the task.  I needed a Cobalt Teal and a Cobalt Blue Violet and any number of other exotic pigments. We walked up to the top of the lighthouse for a 360 degree view of the harbor, but couldn’t sketch from there, so here’s a photo:


It was a day for sailing so we headed over to Man O War, a neighboring island with another lovely marina. We were hungry and stopped in at the Dock n Dine restaurant on the wharf for lobster (deep fried) BLT’s and sweet potato french fries.  This was not a time to worry about cholesterol.

bahamas13The dinghy (pictured here with the  motor on it) was the mode of transportation from sailboat to dock.  Man O War turned out to be a particularly great place to view interesting sailboats, some of them hand crafted in the historic manner.

I will end with the most adventuresome day when the sea finally tossed me and my cookies, if you know what I mean.  I had been wearing those bracelets with the buttons that activate the acupuncture point which prevents nausea, and taking the homeopathic remedy for motion sickness while sailing.  But it was a particularly windy day and Brit and Sandy wanted to take us out to a reef where the snorkeling was particularly good, which it was!  I think this picture, sketched later by an active imagination,  will finish the story.


That night we came back by way of another island called Lubber Quarters and stopped at Cracker Pi’s for the famed full moon feast and party. The definition of the word “lubber” is

1. a big clumsy, stupid person: lout

2. an awkward or unskilled sailor.

Both fit me quite nicely that day.


Is there anything more magical than a full moon sail?  I am still under the spell and hope to never forget.


Here we are, Liz, Sandy and me, wishing you a happy springtime from our coffee deck in the Bahamas.