You-Don’t-Love-Me-Anymore Syndrome

Late last year, I sold the RV and bought a new Subaru Crosstrek. Love my new ride, and was looking forward to some serious road trips come warmer weather. Plus, plans were to add a Thule roof box and do some serious backwoods camping, too.

Fast-forward to life-as-we-now-know-it-now and not only are those dreams on hold, but I’m rarely driving my beloved Subie. Outside of the every 10 days Trader Joe’s runs, it sits idle, alone, in my complex parking spot. Abandoned, so to speak.

When I go by it on the way to my daily walks, I can faintly hear it whimpering, “You don’t write, you don’t call, you don’t love me anymore!” Yeah, not really hearing that, but these days daydreaming and imagination have to fill in for the entertainment void.

But, there’s hope.

My sketching friend TK reminded me it’s not only possible, but does work, to drive somewhere, sit in the car, and sketch. There’s even a hashtag for this rebellious activity:  #USkincar (USK is the acronym for Urban Sketching).

So don’t fret Subie, my pal:  we’ll start having some play dates ahead while I sit in your comfy seats and sketch something cool that’s on the other side of the windshield. Beats having to sit somewhere public and sketch while wearing the latest in face mask fashion.

Sketching in the Woods

I am fortunate for these stay-at-home days to have a 25-acre nature preserve next to where I live. And doubly blessed that it’s lightly used, thus social distancing is a seldom necessity. It’s meandering, leaf-covered trails amid the forest of hardwoods make for a contemplative and relaxing break from the human drama that’s all around us.

I’ve been sketching on and off most of my life, but admittedly seldom and certainly not enough to build up my sketching muscles. Architecture school, way back in what seems almost like a previous life, nurtured my love of the form, but not much steady effort since then. Virtually meeting Tina Koyama got me hooked into the world of Urban Sketching and rekindled my fondness for nature and architectural sketching (more bits of shared sketching found here). I took the selfie in Chicago a few years back when I finally met Tina face-to-face for some street-based sketching.

Today was my second outing this week into the woods with my improvised sketching stool and kit. No doubt the kit will evolve but starting out it contains some of Faber-Castell PITT artist pens, four Blackwing pencils, sharpener, and two Tombow stick erasers. Sketchbook is a Field Notes Signature, rigged with a piece of chipboard scored perpendicularly to the Signature binding then affixed with small binder clips. Result is a sketching “board” of sorts where I don’t have to struggle with the binding or bending of pages. Photos below show how it worked out today.

The Subject
The Setup
The Kit w/Coleman Folding Stool
The Sketch