Snowbound sketches on cruddy paper, and lovin’ every second.

15 January, 2019. So we’re snowed in and cleaning up over the weekend, and come across a forgotten and unused sketchbook filled with seriously crummy paper.

The sketchbook is made from banana leaves or palm fronds or something similar…loads of texture and flecks of crud. I figure it’ll probably be like sandpaper on my fountain pen, but decided what the heck, what’ve I got to lose?

Those of you who know me, know I almost always work from life on location, but we were pretty much snowbound for the most part. Another thing we stumbled upon during cleaning was some vacation photos from 2009. (Yes, we need to clean more often.)

Anyway, I made several quick ink sketches on the banana paper (or whatever) using my photos as reference. It was fun looking through images of Scotland from a decade past; memories of particular places and events suddenly felt like they’d happened just yesterday. Even the terror of finding myself on a trail high up in the mountains that required me to do a bit of rock climbing to get to the other side brought back a chill and cold sweat. (Prudently, I returned the way I came up rather than doing the mountaineering thing.)

The long and short of it is that even though I had to keep cleaning off my constantly clogging pen nib, I had a blast trying something new and artistically “wrong.” It was fun forcing my pen to do something it didn’t really want to do, the paper sucked ink out of the reservoir like a sponge, and the unexpected line quality was exciting to watch unfold.


  1. Sigrun · January 16, 2019

    Great! Love the quality of the line; like haiku drawings …

  2. sandyfield49 · January 16, 2019

    The third roof-top sketch reminded me of Edinburgh. Perhaps you could send some snow across. We are rather lacking in it this year.

    • azorch · January 16, 2019

      I rather think it was Edinburgh, actually. And you are more than welcome to the infernal snow and cold stuff… we’ve a forecast for ice tonight, a ton of snow on Saturday (on top of the load already on the ground), temps of -9F/-23C on Sunday, then more snow on Tuesday. I moved away from Alaska nearly two decades ago, but you’d never know it from conditions on the ground here in the “temperate” Midwest.

      • sandyfield49 · January 16, 2019

        Wow that does sound tough. Hope you get a break sometime soon, though that’s going to be some melt when it happens.

      • azorch · January 17, 2019

        Oh, I make it sound way worse than it is! A little whining on my part, simply because I’d rather be outdoors. 🙂

  3. azorch · January 17, 2019

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