June 28, 1977. I’m in El Segundo, California. In three days I will be leaving the US for Micronesia and I take a moment to capture the view from my hotel window. I have started to occasionally draw what I am looking at rather than what is in my mind. Over the next two years I will see and feel many amazing things. I only wish I had captured more of it on paper.
In front of our house in Pohlangas was a large mango tree. Someone had built a bench around the tree, and travelers walking the road between Wapar and the bay would often stop to rest there in the shade. We would sit in our living room and watch the world slowly go by through the large screen windows. A woman sat for a moment on the bench and I, with pen and paper, recorded the scene.
Ed and Fred were diving and spearing fish in the lagoon. I sat in the boat under the blazing sun and, with a small pad and pencil, sketched the strange harvest, complete with notes about color for the painting that never followed.
It was a hot, lazy afternoon. Several workers sat in my living room around the radio as the voice from Kolonia reported the vote on the new constitution that would change Ponape to Pohnpei. It went on for hours. Delis Jack sprawled on the couch beside me, layed back and closed his eyes, and I took the opportunity to record the moment.
A scene from my room: A bottle of vodka, a shot glass, a shell ashtray, a pack of Winstons, and a box of Greenlite matches. The caption says, “Feb. 5, 1979. Depression.” Don’t know what it was about, but I remember the feeling.
Some of the best work I've done isn't hanging on a wall; it's sitting in a box in my closet that's full of my old sketch books. I fill up one or two books each year. Some of the sketches end up as a basis of a more formal work, but most don't. They’re more important to me as a pictorial diary and also as on-going training; learning to really see and to understand shape, light and color.
This blog is to share my sketches as well as my sketching experiences.