Drawing Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Painting Plein Air Sketchbook Pages

Loster Than I’ve Ever Been

Chapel on Mare Island
St Peter's Chapel on Mare Island

What was I thinking? Somehow, despite printed instructions, my GPS unit and mapping software on my iPhone, I managed to get more lost than I’ve ever been in my life today (except for the time I was driving across country on highways and somehow ended up on a dead end street). I arrived so late at our painting site that there was no time to set up all my gear so I just did this quick, wonky sketch.

The paint-out was on Mare Island, a former naval base and shipyard with historic buildings, factories and old officers’ mansions.  First I was a little late leaving the house, and then, after going over the Vallejo-Carquinez bridge four times, and multiple wrong turns (second guessing the GPS), and driving in circles, I was REALLY late.

Part of the problem was not being able to get to sleep the night before and drinking way too much coffee to try to wake up in the morning. But the biggest problem was that I hadn’t taken the time to pinpoint where I was going and so the information I put into the GPS wasn’t accurate. And the stupidest thing was that my plein air group had provided me with perfectly simple instructions which I complicated by using my GPS incorrectly. (A perfect example of GIGO: Garbage In: Garbage Out).

By the time I got home I was tired, hungry, disappointed and frustrated so it seemed like a good day to work on the rebuild of my website. At least I made good progress on that and accomplished something today.

10 replies on “Loster Than I’ve Ever Been”

Oh, Jana! I laughed so much! Sorry, but I did.
Seven years ago, when we moved to this relatively small city (on the coast, fer Pete’s sake, so you can only get lost in one direction!) I got so lost, asked so many people, got so many confusing directions….I now ALWAYS carry the ‘phone book. It has , besides telephone numbers, local maps. Lik Karl Malden and his AMex…never leave home without it.


That’s funny…never thought of carrying the phone book, but ours is quite gigantic so I think maps would be better. But the whole idea of getting the GPS was to not have to keep looking at maps, since I can’t seem to remember more than one turn at a time and have to keep pulling over and finding my spot again and again on the map. Jana


Oh, Jana. I can so relate to this, I can so lost too. Then you get nervous, then you get frantic, and then you get stupid. Poor baby. The sketch is cool, but I’m sure that wasn’t what you were after. Thanks for the story.


And I thought only I did such things! foflol! Glad you got there in the end, and are not lost in an endless maze of passages, all looking the same! Plus, you got a nice sketch, too!


This is a really good sketch of St. Peter’s Chapel. I recognized it.

I also remember the detours on Mare Island last time I was there. When I worked there everyone would get lost.

You also reminded me…

The first (and last time) my sister and I tried to find Daniel Smith in Seattle, we kept on going around and around in circles so much, people in a cafe starting recognizing us and waving us on. Fortunately, my nieces have not inherited the geo-spacial curse of the women in our family!


Ha! We’d make a great pair! That’s the funniest getting lost story I’ve ever heard. Reminds me of when I was trying to get around Boston (don’t ask!). Jana


Sorry you missed your painting session – but at least you got one really good sketch out of it. I can relate too – getting lost is one of the things I do well.


I even got lost for a minute on my bike ride today (on the paved Bay Trail), turned off the main path accidentally and was at another dead end in under a minute. I like the way you said it’s something you do well. It kind of turns it around from a flaw to a positive character trait. Jana


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