Thursday, July 5, 2012

Postcards from the Train

Last week I took a train ride from Portland, Oregon to San Luis Obispo, California. Some folks might find the idea of a 25-hour train ride to be daunting. I found it to be a great opportunity to sketch out a heap of little postcards to send to friends!

 See more after the jump...

I failed to snap a picture of it before I put it in the mail, but as we went further south I added a flip-flopped foot sketch to the set to compliment the colder-climate boots.

 Yes, my pen was a little bit leaky.

 Interesting challenge, drawing snippets of landscape from the moving train. The "red soil/big sky" one benefited from extra texture from the motion of the train itself.

The portrait of the man in the hat is a fun story--I ate breakfast in the dining car at the same table as this gentleman, who turns out to be a musician named Mark Ross. He was heading to the start of a tour to celebrate Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday, and when he mentioned that the tour would go through Nevada City, I mentioned that I couldn't think of that town without thinking of the musician Utah Philips. "I used to play with Utah," said Mark; "In fact, this is his hat that I'm wearing right now!" I was a little bowled over by that news, and he graciously consented to let me sketch the hat on my train schedule while he finished his breakfast. When I got back to my seat, I adapted that sketch to the tidier postcard version.  
Trains are a delightful adventure. Especially when folksingers are playing in the observation car. (Here's the Tour schedule for Mr. Ross's "Hard Travelin' Tour.")


  1. Thanks for the postcards! And to think you met Utah Phillip's hat....

    1. Next round of postcards, you are due an etegami one that's mailed from the Oregon Zoo!

  2. Very nice - I like the inky fingers!!

    1. Speaking of which, today my hand is totally stained with pink and blue watercolors...Like the postcard says, it's a fun badge of honor!