The Night Driver/Chase

Continuing on with Italo Calvino’s wonderful story collection The Complete Cosmicomics I had to take two days to figure out how to draw these stories. Calvino uses words graphically. So clear are his pictures-built-with-words that I tremble at the thought of trying to turn them into sketches. For two days I struggled with this (except during the final game of the World Series in which I didn’t think of anything else but Go Cubs!). This is what my little brain came up with.


Today’s sketch is actually two different stories. Each story is far more complex than my quote would lead you to believe. I can’t say it enough: if you like pictures and you like words, you need to read this book.

Materials List: Stillman and Birn Sketchbook, Uniball Signo 207 in three sizes: regular, micro, and ultra micro, coffee (yes, I’m Old School).


III. Death/everyday

Whew! Yesterday’s reading was intense. I read more of Cosmicomics and encountered Death. Italo Calvino gets to the bottom line. Then the Kindle book I pre-ordered arrived late in the evening, so I read that. It is a very quick read, and worth buying for the beauty in it – it also has a lot of grief. Fredrick Backman gets to the heart of the matter. I’ve mashed the two stories – Death and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer – together and, now that my #worldwatercolorgroup and #inktober commitments are over, I’m back to drawing Ama. There is no suggested musical accompaniment because both of these readings are intense enough – I wouldn’t want you to explode from emotion. I do hope you dance because,  after we look Death in the eye, there’s nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.


Now We Are Swum

Italo Calvino is sweeping me off my feet with this story collection. Yesterday I read Blood, Sea, a story in The Complete Cosmicomics. Here area few quotes. I’m hoping someone out there will be inspired to read this amazing collection and share back to me the parts they find most amazing.

It is Halloween, so here is a bit of music-making from The Day The Earth Stood Still.

And I don’t have to tell you to dance the Monster Mash today, you already know it.


Nod from the Gods

In what can only be a nod from the gods, I no sooner make the decision to spend some long time illustrating what I’ve read the day before, than I stumble upon a wonderful story by Italo Calvino: The Origin of Birds. I won’t tell you more about it, hopefully, the quotes found inside the sketch will inspire you to read a little Calvino for yourself.


Let me tell you why you need to read Calvino: it is because he has the knack of extracting what your playful mind always knew was true but was afraid to think because the adults wouldn’t approve.

The musical accompaniment is, of course Free Bird.

I hope you find the time to fit a little dancing of the Funky Chicken into your day.

Other Worlds

The suggested music for viewing this sketch is King Harvest’s Dancing in the Moonlight. The suggested activity is, of course, dancing.


Probably my all time favorite line was said by Jake Chambers in Stephen King’s (hereafter referred to as SteKi) The Gunslinger.

Jakes said

Go then, there are other worlds than these.

during a terrible moment in the series. A moment that caused me much pain in the reading. A moment that resonated with truth I had never considered. A moment, like all good moments in reading, in which the foundation of my world shifted. The truth of that moment endures as an empty page, as a blank canvas, as a song unsung for my everyday life. I won’t try to illustrate the line as I feel SteKi has done a fine job using words alone and doesn’t need my help.

The written world is powerful. Whether fiction or non-fiction, words build pictures in our minds. I’ve enjoyed playing along with #worldwatercolorgroup in September, and #inktober in, well, Inktober. I’ve liked it so much that I want to continue committing to sketching from a theme, nearly every day. The new theme will be words I’m seeing, hearing, reading. The rules are simple, nearly every day I’ll do a sketch inspired by Words. If there are words in your head that must be shared with the world, I invite you to play along.