I’ve been practicing snowmen for the past few days (for the  next holiday card). Here’s my favorite so far.

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Everything got put on hold last week, when the entire household came down sick. I didn’t do much past these sketches from the train.

Thursday late afternoon. Before I could finish, someone came on and placed her bike in front of this one.

Friday rush hour home. I had this man for two stops, maybe.

Sketching on the train as a regular commuter is one of the great urban pleasures. What I enjoy most are the constant variety of faces and personalities, with familiar ones emerging over time; the near-constant movement of both people and the train itself making consistent balance impossible and you always drawing fast; and how it seems to open the door to conversation. I’ve talked to more people in the past month on the train than I have in a year. Also, I’ve given away two sketches to their subjects, which tickles me no end.

This gentleman moved around a fair amount and always resettled into a predictable position.

train sketch 11 10 09 pm

This lady was absorbed by her book and read quietly for the whole ride. Her ear is much more shapely than I managed.

train sketch 11 13 09 am

Notebooks!

While rearranging the studio to make space for working with clay, I’ve had to clean out the disarray.  This has led to finding all kinds of things, including a set of blank notebooks, done to test bindings and materials.

This one’s had a hard traveling life. Interestingly, the binding seemed to wear and crack all at once. After two weeks of use, the binding had deteriorated noticeably but after about eight months of use, there has been little more.

papyrus dark notebook 01

Another papyrus notebook. By this time I made this one, I’d noticed both light and dark types worked better with thin pamphlet-style bindings. This example has been used nearly as much as the one above, but has sustained much less damage due to its lesser bulk.

papyrus light notebook 01

But what about Herakles?

Yes, the big project. Working with clay as the basis for the page is proving troublesome in several key areas: scribing, sealing, storage, simultaneous display, to name a few. I have a few more ideas I’m working through before moving on, and hope to have those done in the next few days.