Friday, February 12, 2010

In the sketchbook

"Bob on Amtrak to Sacramento"
Watercolor on sketchbook

Pen on sketchbook
Amtrak Station
Davis, CA
"Waiting 2"
Watercolor on Sketchbook
Amtrak Station
Davis, California

We are missing touring with our bicycles. Next year we plan to ride our touring tandem from Florida to Maine, but this year, no big tours await. So we decided on the months when we are not taking a trip, we will do small tours. Amtrak California has many places you can go with your bicycles. We are fortunate to own folding tour biycles that can be put in a common luggage rack if there is no bike car. Amtrak buses will carry bicycles in the luggage compartment.

Adventure 1: Take the Capitol Corridor train to Sacramento, about a 2.5 hour drive by car, visit the world class train museum in Old Town, stay in the couples suite at the Internation Youth Hostel, ride to Davis the next day, and catch the train back to San Jose. This trip also involves riding a few miles to Light Rail, going downtown, and riding a mile to the train station to cover the 14 miles from home in a timely fashion.

One thing we learned touring is "be flexible because things will happen." At the station, we learned that the tracks were under repair between Fairfield and Sacramento for several weeks, so we had to be bused in that area. Amtrak told us we were taking a chance they could not carry our bicycles. We were prepared to ride 45 miles if necessary, but it would have messed up our museum visit. All went well both ways and we had a wonderful trip.

I took my 4" x 6" Koi pan paint set with Japanese brush that holds water in the handle and a small sketchbook. I captured Bob on the train (this one is for Myrna Wacknov who told Bob she recognizes him from my various sketches and painting), a pen and ink sketch of a man reading a book while waiting outside the Davis Amtrak station, and a watercolor of the same man. Waiting areas are great places to capture people who tend to stay put. The paintings were done without drawing them on the sketchbook.

See finished pieces of Adult Bob and Baby Bob posted earlier in this blog.


Sheila said...

It's been so long since I've taken Amtrak to Sacramento but I do recall it was a beautiful and pleasant trip.

I love these paintings/sketches Mary! I like the one where you've drawn the arches of the Station and extra snaps for another fine Bob portrait.

hwfarber said...

These are really interesting. It's nice that you take your model along on these trips.

Candy said...

Great sketches!

The Sacramento trip sounds like fun. I can't wait until next year to see photos and sketches from your Florida to Maine trip!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fabulous trip! And your sketches are great. I especially like the one of the guy reading. Makes me want to know what he is reading! I agree with Hallie- nice that your reoccurring model travels with you- LOL! Good one Hallie. I almost feel like I've traveled a bit with you guys. Thanks!

Mary Paquet said...

Sheila, the trip is very pleasant. Bob is a train enthusiast, so we include them in our travels. The pen sketch was fun -- those arches in perspective are always a challenge.

Hallie, thanks for checking in -- yup, handy to have the model with me!

Candy, thanks for checking in -- I will use these very tools and tiny watercolor book and sketch book to capture the moments.

Pam, I wondered the same thing about that guy reading. I love to take people along on my travels through my sketches.

Charlene Brown said...

I am in awa of anyone who can paint people and 'capture the moment' so spontaneously! I have one of those Koi sets as well, but always have a pencil (and eraser, I might as well admit) with me as well -- and it's just not the same. BTW, does the water container on your pen seem to screw in the wrong way, like mine?

Marie Theron said...

How nice to have that sort of energy for these undertakings,Mary! Is it not winter over there? Your sketches are good because I know that I for one cannot work with those Japanese watercolour sets!

Mary Paquet said...

Charlene, these little sets are great, aren't they. Yes, the water container screws on backwards from what I would expect.

Marie, it is winter, but in the sections of Northern California that we visited, the most we get is cooler temperatures and possibly rain. We picked a window that looked rain-free and were blessed with an accurate weather report. I can't produce a masterpiece with the Koi set, but I can sketch and that pleases me.

Marie Theron said...

Hi Mary, me again... I feel so grateful towards you! You tread very softly and leave comments in unexpected places. Not only on my blog, but on my 10 Questions Interview, and on the article (crit)that Art of Landscape did! Thank you for you regular and silent support!

By the way, this has to do with our geography. The Wild Coast is really the East Coast, and our coast is the West Coast! No problem, though, it gets pretty wild here!

Mary Paquet said...

Marie, thanks for visiting and helping me learn some geography. I am very interested in your work and it's fun to check in on different places where you are featured.
Glad to hear there is a bit of wild on the West Coast. a little wild is appealing!

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