July 2008 Archives

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We made a family trip to Kennywood Park this afternoon and evening. It's about a twenty-minute drive from our house in the city. I didn't go on any of the big roller coasters, but did go on some of the older rides (the auto race and the railroad train), some of the Kiddieland rides, and spent a pleasant half hour steering a paddle boat around in a cement pond.

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The water-soluble graphite sticks again. I like to see how the lines and spaces change weight and character after I use a wet brush.

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Still in season... I bought a quart instead of a pint of them yesterday.

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Left to brew on the back porch post - I think my husband used raspberry tea for this batch.

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Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a collection of my travel sketches on page 2. You can click on the image above for a closer look at the printed page, or you can visit their website for their online version of the feature.

(These were not from my daily sketchbook - I had so much fun filling a page there on the way to Boston at the beginning of July that I decided to make lots of drawings in another sketchbook on the way home. Five pages of drawings and comments were distilled, transcribed, and rearranged for this.)

Update: Among the wonderful responses to this set of drawings was an email from railfan Patrick Rieger, who works at the amazing Miniature Railroad and Village at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. He was able to answer a couple of questions I'd had en route:

The answer to your question about the long pause at Harrisburg
probably was a crew change, and the water tanks on the cars are topped
off and garbage removed.

The long bridge over the Susquehanna is the Rockville Bridge, built by
the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1901-1902. It is the longest stone arch
bridge in the world.


Thanks, Patrick!

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Someone took the first bite and then forgot about this one, leaving it for me to draw. No lines for latitude and longitude on the page, but I did feel like a cartographer as I traced the crumbling coastline.

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Seltzer water, cold from the fridge.

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Tiny coffee cups from Segovia, a present received tonight. And all of us are now home and under the same roof. Conversations pick up where they were left off over a month ago, with old jokes and a lot of new stories to share.

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Trying to put off bedtime, I think - I know I still do that.

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Figuring out travel plans for the rest of the month and making lists on the backs of envelopes.

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One slice left after we had fish for dinner.

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A less impetuous person would have removed the tissue paper before attempting to try on her new boots.

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Saturday morning - we went out for coffee.

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A flower which always means summer to me. We're home, and things are blooming, and the day is hot and bright.

Cheers from afar to all the amazing women at BlogHer this weekend. A dear nephew has chosen tomorrow for his wedding - I'll be celebrating with family in Pennsylvania. I'll find time and space for drawing, but may or may not get to a wifi connection in time to post on Saturday - so look for two pictures to appear on Sunday.

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From the train window, a morning view of the Connecticut coastline.

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Near the marina and market. We had lunch and then everyone else walked to the beach. I painted for a while caught up with them later. Last full day of a wonderful vacation.

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Looking out over Ipswich Bay, just after sunset tonight.

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Just past dawn, a few clouds. Within the hour, fog had erased the far side of the bay, the buoys were gone, and all I could see was a line of rocks at the edge of the world.

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"Do you always draw in black and white?" asks a nephew.
"I just got these new fat pencil crayons," I explain. "I'll go back to color in a day or so..."

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We went berry-picking (and mosquito-slapping, and duck- and pig-watching) at Russell Orchards in Ipswich this morning. Blueberries and raspberries - what could be better? The pears weren't ripe yet, but the trees were beautiful.

They run the tractors with biodiesel fuel. They sell homemade doughnuts in their store. My favorite sign near the barn read, "Save the planet: eat cider donuts." So we did what we could to help.

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I can look at this landscape every day, and every day I see new things.

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Just got a couple of fat water-soluble graphite sticks made by Lyra. This was the 2B (also have a 9B). Even the harder 2B goes onto the page like butter, and I can use a waterbrush to pick up a wash. Feel like a kid with new crayons - can't wait to draw more with them.

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Hair tumbling into her face, she was intent on the castle she was building at low tide.

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My father's garden is in full bloom.

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Detail of a galleon.

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View from the beach this morning.

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Nearly high tide on an overcast day. A bucket is in need of rescue before the water gets much closer. We stayed on until the waves were lapping at our toes and then walked home for a late lunch.

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The day cleared later so we could walk... but began cool and rainy.

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I made sketches of things seen out the window as we went along, trying also to note location and time. Had to stop when it got dark somewhere along the coast of Rhode Island, but at that point I'd run out of room on the page, anyway. (As with most other pictures on this site, you can click on the image for an enlargement.)

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Arrived too late to set up wifi. Listening to the waves instead. Sketched throughout the train trip and will post that tomorrow. Meanwhile, for a set of brief verbal sketches of the journey, you can follow my twitter stream at http://twitter.com/elizabethperry.

Thanks!

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Or flip-flop, or slipper. Belonging to a child. Soon to be packed... Tomorrow morning, we're headed on a train journey to vacation and family and the beach. I'm looking forward to a day in between places, with windows to look out, with books to read, with paper to draw on, and of course, a picnic.

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For my new glasses. I asked for one which couldn't be confused with the other cases around the house. The woman rummaged in a drawer - and produced wonderful lime plastic instead of the usual navy or brown leatherette. No mistaking them for anyone else's. This also marks a moment of passage - my first trifocals. After muddling along with contacts and drugstore reading glasses, it's a delight to see so clearly: details at a distance and up close and in between.

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