Sunday, December 30, 2012


Little mess on the table and amazing grilled asparagus in ink and Kuretake. Colorful splashes, almost firework of ink indicates my happiness and delight, it was the best asparagus ever. I put bunch of seasonings on it: Turkish, Japanese, Georgian Khmeli Suneli, cumin, barberry, paprika, turmeric, grated cheese, oil and soy sauce and we grilled it for a few minutes on our new device Griddler.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dancing boy.

I saw this boy on the Subway, on the platform, dancing to his own music. Dark silhouette against the urban landscape. It brought light and wonder into dusk of my own mood. Ink.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 27 sketches in Gamma sketchbook.

I prewashed sketchbooks pages by dropping ink puddles. With the vintage pencil on the top it gives me more of sensitive look at the drawn memories of the day.
Couple on the top got off the same station as I did and I thought again could be my neighbors who I was eyeballing.
It was freezing and windy and my throat is itchy today, but it was worth it, my travel and sketching yesterday, my meeting very colorful man with extraordinary life adventures, with amazing stories and possibility of reading his upcoming book.
I used Bell pencil and bits of Pentel Multi-8 pencil for color.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Only 2 pages in Gamma sketchbook.

Yesterday I got a lift from somebody, which made me pretty unhappy, because shortened my sketching time, and cut my 15 min walk in cold Williamsburg, when I can gaze around and think in silence, so I got only half a trip with pencil, on the way back. The good part I met, may be,  potential client, woman with the taste.
I am challenging myself to go on a sketching spree, may be I will, finally, get satisfied with Subway sketching. I was looking jealously at half empty benches underground yesterday, thinking to stop there, but I promised to have dinner together at home.
 I tried to use watercolor pencil with wash, but somehow disliked it, and got back to plain mechanical pencil.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Subway sketches on the way to Williamsburg and back.

I don't mind trotting on a Subway as long as I can get a seat and sketch people. My pretty sketchbook got some abuse from splattered ink and few smears of metallic on the jacket from my dirty hands in gloves.
Few touches of color with Pentel Multi-8 pencil. One day I will go and ride on a Subway just for sketching.
Here is the wall, glazed in metallics.
A bit closer. They really like that finish and they usually don't like and don't know anything. So this is sort of champagne color. So I think I deserve a sweet roll with cottage cheese tomorrow for breakfast, for saving the day.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bowl of soup.

Here is a story about bowl of soup, given to me by one woman, who I find very interesting and would like to keep friendship with, who seems so knowledgeable and deep, I hope not to loose her in my hermit style of life, but know too well that nothing could keep me away from drawing.
It is also a story about a fight between me and paper, strange, smooth, cheap, glossy, useless paper, which I ripped and burn and salted, to make it work for me. Ink and Kuretake change their colors, sunk in it, become unrecognizable and I am not sure that I was right to insist on using it, it would, probably, look richer on watercolor paper.
I like to draw simple things like bread and soup, tea kettle, because this objects carrying warmth and peace, same for everyone, it is about people without depicting people.
Here is the room I did for that woman.
Soft glazing with touch of metallic and small brunches with leaves. It is shimmering.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Hurricane Sandy dragged seaweed and sand along with water onto small streets in South Brooklyn. I guess, it attracted seagulls. Once I was walking and got stunned by big birds flying near my face. It was not as scary as in Hitchcock's movie, but it was pretty unnatural to see them so low and so many and so far from the beach.
So I did drawing of that street and added birds later. I still may replay the composition, because still unsatisfied with the result. But I am happy I did it, because so many visual thoughts stay undrawn and with all our busyness and rushing never reach the paper and fading away.
I used ink and Kuretake on Bockingford tinted watercolor paper. Funny, this was my last piece of this paper and suddenly I felt how good it was for ink, how much I want more of this paper in ivory and grey and white colors.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 19 Subway sketches in Gamma sketchbook.

Yesterday's Subway trip and the whole day didn't seem a big waste because I got to sketch people on a train. I still can't get enough of plain mechanical pencil on aged with ink Gamma sketchbook pages. Something really attractive in one pencil and one sketchbook, so little to carry, but such a powerful tool to express and document.
On one station group of construction workers came in, their faces dirty, they were laughing, I managed to catch one, they left on the next stop, pity, such a colorful group. The guy on the bottom was so quiet, never lifted his eyes, so I felt almost too aggressive staring at him, he stepped out on the same stop as I did, hope he is not my neighbor. I find people beautiful and fascinating with the depth of their own world, they keep for themselves.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 17 Subway sketches.

Sketches with vintage mechanical pencil Bell in Gamma sketchbook.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I was deeply shocked by shooting of innocent small children in Connecticut. This the end of the world for their families, scars for life for their siblings and classmates, wound in the heart for everyone who consider themselves human. This is the first page in Gamma sketchbook, which I intended for happy sketch in a Subway with ink and Kuretake, but instead it took my tears and grief about 27 lives taken so violently.  How scary to live in the world where we can't protect our children?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Starting new Gamma sketchbook.

I started new sketchbook on a Subway, Gamma by Stillman & Birn. The one with Van Gogh's drawing of a Sower on the sleeve.
I have a very special relationships with Van Gogh, I fell in love with his work at 15, after reading the book by Irving Stone " Lust for life". Van Gogh's "Letters to his brother Theo" is one of my favorite books ever, I got it at 17 and brought it here with me. Stone based his book on that Letters. Whenever I needed advice or inspiration, or just a friend, I opened a book at any page and listened to wise words.
So all this to explain why I did this drawing on the second page, leaving the first for something more special than a Subway sketches, I felt stupid to be so superstitious, but it was the only way to start that beautiful new sketchbook, till it become tainted, familiar, approachable.
I used vintage green pencil signed "Bell system property" with metal yellow patch covering last 6 letters, something really charming in that pencil, very personal and I like how it was gliding on paper.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Decided to finish "Wolfnights", hanging out on my table for a long while. It was remarkable evening in Manhattan and the best wrap ever loaded with the best meat and vegetables. We were sitting on swinging seats on chains, looking at midnight street and enjoying food and conversation.
I used old piece of paper, ink and Kuretake.
Really charming place, gotta go again.

Couple of sketches on the way to flu.

Going trough the day with Delta sketchbook and water soluble pencil.
I know I skipped W in a word here, but I already had fever, but didn't know I was sick, I just felt miserable and was holding on to being upright.
I used a bit of ink and Kuretake and salt on the upside down sketch, I turn sketchbook to make it more comfortable to draw.
I am on the last page of Delta and giving her goodbye hug.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Blackberry breakfast.

This is still life with blackberries and cups and at the same time it is an intense stare at the breakfast scene, trying to absorb every little detail of berries, sweet baklava, green desert plates, shaped like a flower, tea kettle, all this fragile peaceful beauty of a family breakfast, which is soon will be gone, will be replaced by the darkness, like everything else, will become someones distant memory, maybe not even mine.
I used ink and Kuretake and a little bit of salt. Scanner cannot show shimmering specks of salt or sand, or jewelry sparkles, covering the whole drawing.
BTW, this tea kettle is done, got destroyed by Sandy, like most of electrical stuff at home, I already got a replacement, different shape, different color, how it will fit in my drawings?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Couple of Subway sketches in Delta and Baby Peggy.

Riding late on a Subway gave me little time to sketch, too many people, no free seats, so I was standing and drawing in my head, much better than on paper.
I am at the end of Delta sketchbook by Stillman & Birn, makes me sad, I fell in love with this strong ivory paper, it takes any media so thankfully, washes, ink, watercolors, allows pencil to glide, kept up with my tossing it in the book bag,  really good companion, I would say, faithful friend, who knew more about me that I wanted to share.
I saw couple of silent movies from 1920's with Baby Peggy, than I Googled her, very interesting child she was, porcelain face with Chinese eyes, million expressions, read about her life, she is 94 now, accomplished writer, advocating for children actors rights.
Still want to see  “Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room.”  documentary.
After watching movie  The Artist I was really attracted to black-and-white movies, to that beautiful play of light and shadows, it was like someone was painting with black ink amazing compositions in front of my eyes. Without color you see the structure of life much better, clearer, and emotion paints it for you.
I used pencil and wash here, in Delta.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Big truck. Aftermath.

We have big machinery everywhere, some of it, probably, temporary generators, some strange structures, some bright colors, we have blue, gray and yellow equipment inside buildings. We have people in white clothes, looking like aliens, I guess  it is cleaning company, restoring vital functions of our octopus buildings organism, chewed by the ocean.
Here is a big green truck with heavy load. I used ink and Kuretake, I miss happy puddles with orange rims.
Aliens among us.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Subway musicians.

Changing trains got wrapped up into music for a moment. Two musicians with violins. For some reason I felt that music painted surroundings in flaming reds. I was hiding with my sketchbook behind some metal boxes, where slightly smelled like urine and music licked my shoes with orange waves like tired sea.
I used ink, Kuretake, salt, Inktense pencils, mixed media on Arches.