A Night At The…

The more things change, the more ways I can tie an idea together because it seems to be another version of the same thing.

Today’s drawing is inspired by Robert Darnton’s words in his non-fiction Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. I read the words yesterday, then last night I went to a rehearsal of San Diego Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro. It was artist’s night and I made plenty of sketches. The sketches gave the idea for Darnton’s words,

. The Night at the…it’s hard to resist saying it when it’s true.




I’m falling hard for ballpoint pen as the ink of choice for Inktober. I keep trying other inks. I like them more or less. Especially dip pens which I like more. But not more than ballpoint pens. Here a few of my Inktober interpretations of Olga Tokarczuk’s Primeval and Other Times.


California Retains Heat



It is a deeply overcast day of the beach, in the middle of January, and has been overwhelmingly overcast for at least the last week. When I sit on a wooden bench, it still retains heat. This is the most amazing thing to me as I grew up expecting inanimate objects to have heat stored in them. Then I moved around to other places, even other hot place, and no place else that I’ve been have brick walls and fence posts retained heat. And yet, it is still happening here so was not my imagination.

That is in no way related to today’s sketch. Today’s sketch is people going about the business of communing with the Pacific Ocean on this overcast day. I’ve not yet mastered people. I thought my vantage point gave me a good opportunity to practice. One thing I noticed is that these people all seemed to be wearing some type of uniform. I was not wearing the same uniform. I was sort of proud of myself.

Words Change

The meaning of words can change through the years. Some words have changed their meaning in my lifetime alone. This word is an example. Understanding how words were used historically is a small interest of mine.


Here we have my first ever attempt at sumi e painting in my copy of a Tomioka Tessai scroll from The Works of Tomioka Tessai, a collection intended to accompany his paintings On the occasion of the second exhibition in America beginning in 1968. No, I have none of the right tools. I used a student-grade watercolor brush and india ink on mix media paper. I wanted to feel what the strokes were like. I was only able to get two shades with the India ink, I’d like to learn how to get five shades. I might need to buy an ink stick. I see a rabbit hole in this pursuit.

Tomioka Tessai is one of my heroes. We’ll  talk more about him in the future.