I took a Sunday afternoon bike ride to Berkeley’s 4th Street, an upscale little shopping street in a formerly industrial zone by the railroad tracks, about 4 miles from my house. People come there to do some recreational shopping and to dine, and many dress up in show-offy clothes. I felt a bit dorky arriving in my hand-me-down, shiny black bicycling shorts partially covered by a big, old white t-shirt with a B. Kliban picture of a cat painting a messy picture on the front, a bike helmet and bike shoes.
I found the shop, Castle in the Air, that carries Noodler’s Ink (highly touted by artists in the Every Day Matters group as the only waterproof ink that won’t clog fountain pens and great for use in the Lamy Safari pen). The gentleman working there insisted that Noodlers is not waterproof and showed me his smeared sample of the ink that he’d brushed with water (in a cool little handmade book with samples of all their many, many inks). While he was persuasive and fun to talk to (being another art supply lover and an artist) I decided to buy the ink and try it for myself. My Lamy is supposed to arrive tomorrow so I’ll see whether the combination is as great as people say it is (and if it magically makes my drawings as good as theirs!)
Then I crossed the street to Peets Coffee, got an iced latte, and found a table in a hidden corner on their little patio. I drew this with my Micron Pigma (which IS waterproof) in my large watercolor Moleskine. I added some watercolor pencil and water with my water brush but decided to finish it at home with real paint since I didn’t have the right colors.
I also experimented with adding some overheard conversation fragments into the drawing. The guy in the middle with the sun glasses didn’t stop talking the whole time I was there, so many of my scribbles are from his stories about his herniated disk, learning to drive, rude New Yorkers (he’s one), Oprah’s show about women being embarassed to talk to their gynecologists, Italians, and on and on. Instead of being annoyed, as I might have been, it was fun being a spy and writing down bits of his blathering.
As I got up to leave I noticed an attractive man sitting at a table in the sun who was watching me and smiling. I smiled back and felt flattered for a moment until I saw him moving to my table out of the sun as I walked away.