Richard in Noodjwick

Richard in Noodjwick. I know that I'm in the middle of the Lost Summer Sketchbook series, but Richard just sent me this picture. I had forgotten what it looked like. And honestly, the story is just too crazy to pass up.

It was April, 2007. I hadn't talked to anyone in three dark London months. So, when spring came, back to Amsterdam I went. Actually, Amsterdam was just an aside for a few days until I caught a plane to Barcelona. Or so I thought...

Let's just say that:
a) I never went to Barcelona. Instead, I spent two weeks chillin on the back porch of a surf spot in Noodjwick talking to some of the coolest people ever (all detailed in my sketchbook, "The Necklace"). One of whom was Richard. Don't ask about the night Richard, Buddy (the only nineteen year old fisherman from Alazka I've ever met), and I had our own collectively seperate adventures...
b) From New Zealand, Richard just happened to be walking down the street in Cheshunt a few weeks later, the very same night I met Maria. He had just moved to London. Needless to say, several adventures ensued (including my introduction to Mexico City).
c) As I just re-discovered this drawing, I just happened to be listening to the Manu Chao song that kept playing over and over during the entire two weeks.

Hmm. Coincidence? Or, a confluence of events that makes me shudder in the shadow of it's significance...

The Living Room

The Living Room. Friday, August 17th, 2007. It was late Friday night. I was sitting on the living room floor with Ted, my new housemate. The painting on the mantel is the second sitting with Isabel. I was happy to finally find a place to live, a rather nice house in Hendon, but things seemed empty and bleak. I had convinced Ted to start drawing (surprise, surprise- me convincing you to draw is a consequence of spending any amount of time with me), so he was also on the floor making notes in the visual sense.

This is a still life pencil drawing (page 13) from the Lost Summer sketchbook. I skipped a few drawings. They're for the book...


Maria. I first met Maria the night that I drew these figure drawings at the London Life Drawing Society meeting:
A Naked Man's Feet
The Naked Chair
That was back in May 2007. Since then, she's been quite a good friend.

On Tuesday, August 14th 2007, I had just moved into the house in Hendon and was completely stressed out. So, according to our usual, we met for a coffee. A coffee and a drawing session....

Coffee shops are some of my favorite places to draw.

This is a figure drawing (page 12) from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

Four Bananas

Four Bananas. Sunday, August 12th, 2oo7. Cloudy, Bright. I just got back from New York today. We (Jenya and I) took four bananas on the bus from New York to Richmond. Mine were brown from too much contact, so I threw them out. Bananas certainly have a nice form, but I hate to eat them when they get too slimy.

This is drawing (page 11) from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

Fountain Park, Bishops Stortford

Fountain Park, Bishops Stortford. Fast forward past Coopers, and it was late afternoon on Saturday, August 11th 2007. Mel and I were once again looking for a place to draw. We found a park, complete with a massive skateboard ramp. Under a willow tree, we sat down and began to draw in Fountain Park, Bishops Stortford. It was a very peaceful time. I had been living with Mel and Sarah for about ten days. Without them, I would have been sleeping in Hyde Park. And it was a very cold summer.

The sun had a way of finding me those two weeks, shining in exactly when I needed it to. There's nothing like sunshine to make you feel like everything's going to be ok. I had no money, nowhere to live, and no one to wonder where I was. But the warmth of the sun brought me safe, everytime.
Mel moved back to Australia today, back to the sunshine.
Page 10 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

Coopers of Stortford

Coopers of Stortford. We were on a mission, Sarah, Mel and I, to find a place to draw. Well, two of us were looking for a place to draw. Sarah was looking for a place to read.

So, we wandered around Bishops Stortford. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon. Finally, I spotted it. Coopers of Stortford, a garden supply center.

And it only took me four tries to get the orange garden pots the way I wanted them.

Page 9 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

The Green Plant and the Yellow Wall

The Green Plant and the Yellow Wall. The last of my four drawings from August 10th, I had hit a sweet spot. Almost sculptural, the plant had been named by its' owner (Rob- Mel and Sarah's housemate). I can't remember the name right now. It was 11pm, everyone else was out, and I had just seen House of Flying Daggers. Visual poetry.

Page 8 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

A Bowl of Fruit

A Bowl of Fruit. One peaceful summer evening after another...August was nice. After drawing my apple, I decided to conduct an orchestra. The insects were listening.

Page 7 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

Red Apple on a Yellow Table

Red Apple on a Yellow Table. We had come back from St. Albans, it was cool and the freshness of the summer evening felt great. Everyone wanted to go out. I wanted to stay in. So, I drew an apple. Pen, gouche, and pencil.

Page 6 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

The Trash Bin at St. Albans Cathedral

The Trash Bin at St. Albans Cathedral. As I was told later, this is not actually a trash bin. Not even a rubbish bin... Mel, Sarah, and I had gone to visit St. Albans Cathedral. I didn't go inside. They found me on a bench, and Mel started drawing too. Sarah was reading a book. Lots of people came by to comment on what we were drawing.

Page 5 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

Happy Birthday, My Phone Won't Work

Happy Birthday, My Phone Won't Work. This is my phone. I wanted to call and say Happy Birthday. It was August, the first week. Actually, my phone wasn't broken. I just didn't have your phone number. Instead, I made you a birthday card and never sent it.

That's me at the bottom saying "Hello."

Page 4 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

A Bowl of Oranges

A Bowl of Oranges. I was eating these oranges to keep the blood flowing... They were deliscious. My first few days back in England were sunny and warm, but I couldn't tell until just now.

Page 3 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

Flowers and Moonlight

Flowers and Moonlight. The flowers were drawn from the back garden as we were getting ready to go punting in Cambridge. A spot of sunshine shone through the canopy of leaves and this flower was ablaze.

Later that night, the moonlight poked through the curtains of my window and it was the first time I had felt safe in a long time. Even though I had no money. And was living on bread and fruit. And pasta.

Page 2 from the Lost Summer sketchbook.

Market Square and Potter Street, Bishops Stortford

Market Square and Potter Street, Bishops Stortford. My first experience with gouche in seven years. Recently landed and living by the grace of two nice Australians, it was August 4th. I had just come back to England from visiting Germany and the Netherlands. For all those people who were wondering, this drawing begins the "Lost Summer" sketchbook...