Organising my thoughts and processes during these trying and turbulent times. Here are some calming photos to pass the time while I’m processing.
After months with no sketchwalks, Urban Sketchers Tel Aviv met up at Gan Meir for a sketch session. Here are the results:
I haven’t run in the park for a while, at first because I wanted to distance myself from other runners, later on because it wasn’t allowed, and recently because I wanted to distance myself from other people. But I’ve gained some confidence that things with the Coronavirus have chilled sufficiently for me to indulge in a quick morning run in the least popular place in the park.
I saw a pair of graceful prinias, some of my favourite birds. They’re shy and skittish but you can catch a glimpse of them here:
My favourite moment was catching sight of a flock of sleeping Egyptian geese and their two faithful watch-geese:
It was fun to see some of my old haunts, even if they have changed slightly:
It’s a weird one, but the flowers are still blooming and there’s still hope in the world. Try to stay happy and healthy, even if it means staying away from your family this holiday (as I am).
Here’s the drawing before I applied watercolour to it. Feel free to print it out for your personal use, and colour it yourself.
I drew this during an Urban Sketchers sketchwalk to the Tel Aviv port, but I never posted it online because life got in the way.
Here’s hoping better days return soon.
Vintage copy pencils are magic (albeit oftentimes poisonous magic). You take an ordinary looking and behaving pencil and dip it in water and purple, turquoise or blue ink comes out. The Sanford NoBlot is probably the most well known pencil in this category but there were dozens of others made by various pencil companies. The Israeli pencil manufacturer “Jerusalem Pencils” had a copy pencil by the worldly and sophisticated name of “Park Avenue” (very Israel in the ’70s and 80’s). Of the local vintage pencils available in Israel it’s not the easiest pencil to find, although it’s also not the hardest.
Not the prettiest pencil, but not too shabby.
When dry the Park Avenue writes like an F grade pencil, with a bit of a purplish hue. It’s not as hard and light as an H grade pencil, yet it is lighter and harder than an HB. It erases well when dry, and doesn’t smudge.
When wet the pencil lines turn purple, and so much more bold. You can either dip the pencil tip in water, write dry on wet, or for more gentle effects use a wet brush over the dry lines. Just don’t be tempted to lick the pencil tip or chew on it, as there’s a good chance that the lead is poisonous.
The Park Avenue is a deep royal blue pencil with a yellow imprint on it. Apart from the Jerusalem Pencils logo and the 999, I counted four different fonts printed on the barrel of what was meant to be a utilitarian office workhorse. This is in line with many vintage pencils, and this over-design, pride and attention to detail is why I like them so much.
I’m using my pens to cheer me up a little, as we get ready for even more serious movement restrictions, and as the political and economical situation here go haywire. This was written using a Pelikan M805 Ocean Swirl with a fine nib and Sailor Peacock ink. The lighting situation at my desk doesn’t do this ink justice – it’s beautiful.
I managed to squeeze in a 4k run this morning. As I avoided people, I couldn’t run further than that, but I’m glad that I did. The weather is perfect for runs right now, and I really miss my running, but today’s run looks to be the last I’ll be able to go on for a while. I usually run along the waterfront, but so does everyone else, so I ran in parallel streets. This is a temporary goodbye to the sea, and I hope that it’s not a long one:
Stay healthy and safe, and look for the little things and little moments to keep you happy.
Because sometimes you just need a pick me up.
A sketch on location of my polling station in Tel Aviv (don’t be creepy) on election day.
While I was sketching an elderly volunteer came for a chinwag in the shade, and then stayed and chatted for a good long while. I guess he was lonely. And later two girls came around selling cookies and lemonade for charity, so I bought a cookie and talked to them while they watched me draw and tried to sell their wares.
Schminke watercolours, Staedtler pigment liners, Stillman & Birn pocket Alpha.
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these, mostly because I’ve cut down on the number of photo stops during my long runs. But this morning’s dramatic cloud cover inspired me to take a few photos, and so here we are 🙂
These clouds passed over me as they made their way inland with a strong breeze, and though they look foreboding and there was rain inland, I was lucky and I didn’t get rained on during my run. It was cool to see the sky darken and then brighten back up again when they passed.
This is a Tamarisk of some kind, but I haven’t been able to nail the exact species yet.
Mama Mallard was taking the ducklings out for a stroll, which was nice to see. They kept running circles around her, with the wild energy of youth.
There was a congregation of Black-headed gulls chilling in the water. The tide and wind was pretty strong but they managed to maintain their position, which was impressive.
10K done, in perfect running weather. I don’t get a lot of those, so I try to cherish them when I do.