fly away, pete

It’s going to take me some time to add all the pictures and tell all the stories about the 1st International Sketching Symposium in Portland. I am still ringing with excitement about all the things I learned and all the people I met, rubbing shoulders with 80 other people who ‘get it’, and all the creative ideas that started to explode from my head as soon as got on the plane back to Sacramento. I’ve not been this excited aboout creativity in many years, and am eager to charge headlong into exploring more ideas. However, it’s time to start scanning those drawings and documenting for those of you who weren’t able to be there. Matthew Brehm, in his excellent lecture on the history of sketching as a social activity, called it the “Woodstock of Sketching”, and I agree, it probably was (apart from the drugs, sex and nakedness aspect of course).

Anyway, in linear fashion, I’m going to start at the beginning, Sacramento Airport.

sacramento airport
sacramento airport

I’m not a huge fan of airports, or flying in general. I was when I was younger, but nowadays I struggle a bit with them. Have you seen that film ‘Up in the Air’? Yeah, that guy’s not me. (Apart from the good looks of course; only joking).

On the plane, I sat by the window for the obligatory ‘view from the plane’ sketch. The stewardess brought round sodas and juices to the passengers. I forgot to ask for one without ice (they come in plastic cups rather than little cans, like on Virgin and other flights). When my diet coke came, fully iced, and i asked if it were possible to have it without ice, the stewardess gave me a look like i had asked her to tell the pilot to fly the plane upside down. Still, five minutes later she brought me a diet coke without ice.

“Where are you from?” the older guy next to me said suddenly, his wife looking on.
“Britain,” I said.
“People in Britain like their drinks warm?”
“No,” I sighed, “it’s because when I’m done with this drink I don’t want a cup of ice just sitting there.” Well, I don’t, I have nowhere to put it, and I really don’t like swallowing the ice. There’s no drain on the plane. It could get knocked over, onto my sketchbook, or my laptop. No explanation needed.

Apparently there was. “Well, in America,” he announced, his wife nodding, “people drink their sodas with ice in it.”
“No, mate,” I said, “it’s nothing to do with that. I don’t like ice.”
The man and his wife raised their eyebrows. I imagined they would be talking about this over dinner later with their friends, all drinking fully iced sodas, that crazy British guy who just doesn’t understand American customs.

I brought my own bottle of diet coke on the flight back. Some things are just too complicated to explain.

Symposium blog:

8 thoughts on “fly away, pete

  1. Seana says:

    i don’t care for ice either, but for a completely different reason: it always falls out of the cup and hits me in the nose, then spills all over my clothes. That, and it hurts my teeth. I like the tarmac sketch with the baggage loader a lot. Which part do you start with?

    • pete scully says:

      I don’t like ice on my lips, but mostly on a plane it’s the spillage issue. I think I drew the wing first, I don’t remember, only had a few minutes to sketch it (and mostly because I knew Luke would like a sketch of the baggage car)!

  2. Jana Bouc says:

    Ha ha! (to your post and the funny comments). I love the brown paper with the white ink (?). I remember you mentioning picking up the book in a previous post but I don’t think you said what brand or name it was or what you’re using for white ink. Do you mind sharing that info if you haven’t already (I’ll see if I can find it if you have). I’d wanted to bind a sketchbook with brown craft paper but couldn’t find any that would work so used brown drawing paper but it’s too “nice” — I wanted something more like this.

  3. Jana Bouc says:

    OK so I found the page that said it was cheapo book from the Davis bookstore but I couldn’t find what you’re using for white. I have a white gel pen I kinda like but it looks like you’re getting better results–is it ink or paint?

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