Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sketching to Go

In that other Moleskine, the Moleskine that doesn't take watercolor - the poor stepchild of my Moleskines - I am free. I can scribble, I can experiment. I do calisthenics with the pen, "zen and ink". Sometimes I just push the pen around without the mind getting in the way, like meditation or sleep, and create zentangles without angles, I guess.

So in this Moleskine I produce mostly, to put it mildly, garbage. And that's okay. Someday I may slather opaque paint on the pages over most of it in a delightfully creative way. But not any time soon.

Every now and then, though, something happens to bring it all together despite my best efforts to the contrary. One day, when I was aching to draw and had no time, while stopped at a traffic light, I drew the head and hand of a motorcyclist. Then the light changed. Now what? I decided to just do quick sketches of things I see (yes, at other stops and then anywhere else I happened to be). Unrelated things. Then on a whim I decided to box each of them, and suddenly the whole page came together as though it were a narrative for a story. Counter intuitive for sure - you would have thought that boxing the drawings would separate them!

Captain Elaine once accused me of Driving While Sketching (DWS), a ticketable offense no doubt. No Captain, not true - I was stopped at the light, honest. (And, well, look at Barbara Week's recent post!)

I like Wil's motto, "If you're sitting, you're drawing", and when I'm in the car I ain't standing, right?


  1. Dan, these drawings are really neat!
    And your narration is so interesting
    and humor-filled.

    You mentioned "drawing when driving."
    Many times, when stopped at a light,
    I have jotted down poetic lines.
    One of my New Year's resolutions
    is to stop that Completely- or I might
    not be around to finish the poem.

    Cheers, Doug

  2. I love this! Yet another example of art being all around us! Great job and great idea, Dan!

  3. Folks who accuse you of "drawing when driving" haven't lived through the average 3 - 5 minute traffic signals which overwhelm South Floria. I swear to you all that when I read Dan's first sentence, I knew he had been able to complete the entire journal page without holding up traffic even a beat. boyohboy... long lights! And great page, Dan.

  4. Well, I was just thinking that around here, the lights would have changed before I got my pen out and was wondering how you sketch so swiftly! Phyllis has explained...
    Great sketch - I see what you mean about the boxs bringing it together.

  5. Great idea for using all that wasted time in traffic. If you lived in the Atlanta Geaorgia USA area you would have LOTS of time to sketch.

  6. Here in Texas we have the longest lights when no one else is even at the intersection!! So it seems anyway. I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to run the light because no one else is in sight! No more. I'll sketch the time away (and probably get honked at for not going when it does turn green!)

    Great page!

  7. A really whimsical piece, Dan. i like it a lot.

  8. Hahaha! I love the story that you're trying to tell. You can call it whatever you want Dan, but your Moleskine did one thing really good, which is to freeze time. Yes, cameras are supposed to do that, but I believe I am speaking on behalf of everyone here when I say that sketching something helps you to remember things better as you will soon realize that you're observing every little thing that's around you, and be fascinated by just how beautiful the world is.
    People tend to take all those for granted and just passing by everything real quick... Moleskine helps us to create time-capsules of our own and improves our visual memory ^^
    This particular one will always be your special "intersection" moment. ^^

  9. What a great idea! The sketches are really fun, and boxing them in really does make a difference. Well done! nancy