Here are some pages from Jack’s recent travel sketchbook. He drew them with Uniball and Sharpie with occasional hits of watercolor in a big Moleskine. He also enjoys the use of salty language and occasional nudity. Oh, and he had a broken arm.
My boy Jack and I had a fantastic time in Paris and Rome. We saw every inch of both towns and took a night train in between. Eight days of croissants, pasta, art, sunshine, laughter, and lots of drawings:
I didn’t really think before I left and just took my book and a fountain pen. Fortunately, Jack remembered to pack my old Windsor Newton watercolor set. I haven’t used these paints in ages and seeing them on the page made me feel like I had stepped back a decade. My colors look faded and dull after a couple of years under the care of Dr. Martin and his wee bottles of transparent technicolor magic. I pushed them and the Niji waterbrushes as hard as I could but they don’t have that gem-like pizzazz I yearn for.
Anyway, it was still loads of fun and Jack was an awesome travel companion and even more fervent a devotee of the travel sketchbook than his old man. You can read all of my ramblings on the pages below — just click the thumbnails and they’ll spring into big images.
I’ll post some scans of Jack’s pages soon.
I am very proud to be included in Cathy Johnson’s newest book, “Artist’s Journal Workshop: Creating Your Life in Words and Pictures” I have to say it is the most lovely and inspiring book I’ve contributed to — I have spend an awful lot of time going back and forth through it. It’s chock-a-block with great pages and tips from old friends and new discoveries. I urge you to learn more about the book and grab a copy of your own.
Barj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands across the road from my hotel. Last night, as I was on my way to the hotel gym, my colleague waylaid me and insisted I come to the top for a sunset cocktail.
Minutes later, we were at the foot of the building, the sun bobbling on the horizon.
Our friend had made reservations at the bar, Atmosphere, and we were ushered into the express elevator. Seconds later, ears popping we were on the 123rd floor.
The city stretched before us. Zillions of wild skyscrapers, all lit up. It was like looking out of the window of a plane, too high to even trigger my vertigo.
Many of the buildings are still under construction. Their windows are dark but cranes are strung with lights.
After a martini and some snacks, we paid an exorbitant bill, and descended to reality again.
Our cast and crew worked together to make swift progress.
I am in Dubai for ten days, shooting in the desert and other parts of this exotic, peculiar place. Late June is probably not the optimal time to visit this corner of the planet — I have never experienced the sort of oven-heat that suffocates the place over after 9 a.m.
90% of the people in Dubai are not from here. They come in search of opportunity and a piece of the oily pie. Our crew is English, American, German, Pakistani, Indian and me.
My journal looks a little more austere than usual. I only brought my trusty Lamy Safari fountain pen with me and a Q-tip made a serviceable brush. If you click on this picture, you can see a blowup of the page and read my most intimate thoughts.
Some thoughts on my neighbor, the world’s tallest building.
I’ll try to post some more notes over my remaining days in Dubai.
I have been a bit crabbier than normal this week. No real reason, particularly as the weather has been lovely and springular. My treatment for boredom and curmudgeonliness: spend time with people and make stuff. I had three separate dinner dates with friends and the téte a tétes helped a lot. I also filled a number of pages in my journal and, though the paintings reflected my mood, they helped to lift it too.
Focussing on details helps to overload my head and force my Critic into a back corner where his voice is muffled. Here’s what I have been looking at.