Hola, Boca de Tomatlan

Just spent a wonderful week with Bob Masla & Friends at his Casa de los Artistas in Boca de Tomatlan, a little fishing village south of Puerto Vallarta, where the mountain-cool Rio Horcones flows into the wide warm Pacifico.

Got a lotta sketching done.

Played with watercolors, too.

Did a close study of tropical clouds.

Took a road trip to El Tuito, a little colonial ranch pueblito in a small, beautiful valley.


Took another trip north to Puerto Vallarta for dinner on the beach.


In between, played a bit with charcoal and chalk.

Now that I’m home, it’s time for a long warm bath.

Thanks, Bob!



Happy Birthday, Lila Schindler

Today’s the birthday of a dear friend, the mother of my two hermanomigos.

Since Christmas, I’ve been staring at a photograph of her from 1980.  Como se dice, el tiempo vuela.  Time flies.

So nice to have spent this past week focused on her spirit, on the kind and gentle geography of her face.

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December Sketches

Another month has come and gone, and just can’t believe how much drawing and sketching and painting I’ve done.  Never would’ve imagined I’d be so prolific with so many examples of wabi-sabi.  I’m starting to get addicted — if I’m not already.

Moleskine Sketches

Now more than halfway through this current notebook.  Drawing on lined papers makes me nostalgic for my former poetry days.  Feels like I’m still writing, only now in a language of color and line.

Sketchbook Sketches

Working through a few different sketchbooks.  One of them is very inexpensive with low-grade paper.  Like using that one most because I feel most free making mistakes.  That allows me to follow the pen and see what happens.  I’ve got a couple other sketchbooks with heavier paper, which is much much better for watercolor practice.

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Watercolor Sketches

When I want to get serious, I tape some heavyweight hot-press watercolor paper to a clipboard and get to work with watercolor washes.  So much more commitment and fear when working on better materials.  Makes surrender to the process that much more terrifying.  And pleasure with the finished product that much more rewarding.

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Miscellaneous Sketches

In some cases, I’ll draw on recycled packaging paper or on plain recycled copy paper.  Sometimes, I sketch out ideas for bigger sketches.  Or I’ll quickly sketch what’s in front of me.  It’s better than being bored!  And, of course, I keep doing color charts of the all my palettes.

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Happy New Year!


Watercolor Fun

Also started painting more, taping “practice” watercolor paper onto a clipboard, then playing with wet washes and drawing what I find in the dried paint…

Other times, drew out things in pen-and-ink, then laid in washes after that…

Turns out, drawing and painting are very separate tasks and yet so symbiotic, each depending on the other to enhance its best qualities…

Some pages got divvied up into quadrants,  so I painted out small thumbnails of things I passed on my daily walks through San Francisco.

Mostly, it’s just nice to capture a moment, to lock in the feeling that caused my hand to reach for the pen.


From Another Sketchbook

These are mostly watercolor pencil or plain watercolor in an old inexpensive sketchbook.  That it’s old and inexpensive gives me the freedom to try new things and make mistakes, which I do a lot!  Click an image to enlarge.


October Moleskine Sketches

Did a lot of drawing this month.  Something kicked into gear.

Right after spending six weeks posting all my past work to Instagram, I got a new sense of purpose.

I realized that, without even having intended to, I’ve committed myself to this form of self expression.  And you know what?  I love it.

Here’s most of what I sketched this month in the Moleskine.  Click on each for a larger view.