bits and pieces in pen and paint


Another US trip

A two week trip to the U.S. Meetings in Washington DC then back to San Diego, then a final, not-quite-planned, day in LA.

Of course this means more time in aeroplanes, and the truth is that on these business trips it is the aeroplanes and airports that provide me with the most spare time to sketch.

So here I am sketching on my flight across the Pacific.


Between meetings in DC and San Diego I had a Saturday morning in DC and a Sunday in San Diego.

I stretched my legs on the Saturday morning, walking 20 mins from my hotel down to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But the place where I felt inspired (and comfortable) to stop and sketch was across the road from the Willard Intercontinental Hotel. I was very taken with the glass pavilion entrance so sketched as quickly as I could so I could make my early afternoon flight.

Sunday morning in SD was occupied with work, catching up on emails and planning, but I had time in the afternoon to venture out to Del Mar.

Then back into meetings for a week till I had a few moments in the lounge at Tom Bradley terminal at LAX.

And as soon as I got home, Judy and I headed across the road to Scupi’s for breakfast and a coffee.


A little R&R

We have escaped Sydney for a little winter break – and some down time together after my long stay in Munich. The destination? A remote lighthouse keeper’s cottage on the far south coast of NSW.

With virtually no phone or internet connection, all we had to fill our time was …watching the regular parade of whales pass by the point, enjoying the lolling of the young fur seals off the rocks, wandering amongst the heath and rocks around the cottage, touring the lighthouse with our expert host and resident caretaker, spotting sea eagles and kestrels, catching sight of wombats and wallabies, cooking, eating and reading. Strangely, the four days passed effortlessly – what a fabulous place!

Ah yes, there was one more thing to do…here are the sketches I managed to squeeze in amongst our action packed agenda:




Last Munich thoughts

Apart from sketching, I did manage to get out once or twice during my five week stay in Munich.

One highlight was visiting the Residenz, the former residence of the Wittelsbachs, rulers of Bavaria from 1180 to 1918. Although only 50 square metres of the 23,000 square metres of roofed palace remained intact after the bombings of the Second World War, the Residenz has been wonderfully restored and is worth a visit. Here is a taste:



Also entertaining was the “Jump and Fly” event held on June 25 behind the town hall, in Marienhof. This featured long jumpers and pole vaulters sharing the same runway and alternating as they ran to their target at opposite ends of the runway. Here is one of the pole vaulters just failing to clear the bar.

It’s a fabulous city – but it’s nice to be home. :-)

Munich Urban Sketchers

A gorgeous Munich summer’s day was too nice to spend in the Deutsches Museum. So, although that’s where we met, that’s not where we sketched.

Here is my view of the “Father Rhine Fountain” in the park opposite the museum. It was a popular choice today, because of the shade and pleasant location alongside the Isar River.


And here is one of the two tables we occupied at the Mueller’schen Volksbad Cafe afterwards, chatting and thumbing through each others sketch books.

2014-07-06 17.01.01

Magnificent Munich

I’ve now had three weekends in Munich. It is the nature of my current stay that I need the weekends for regeneration and review – so not much sightseeing. But I am puddling out to try to sketch when I can, and trying to sketch quickly (mostly).

There are some magical buildings in Munich. Last weekend I saw this magnificent streetscape on my way back from a (vegetarian) restaurant on Saturday night. I returned on the Sunday to sketch it. It got rather hot while I was sitting out on the street (it was near midday) so I finished the line work as I sat then went back to my room to add the colour.


And this weekend I walked around the corner to one of the medieval city gates (Isartor) yesterday and quickly sketched this. If you look closely at the roman numerals you will see that the clock actually runs anticlockwise!

Isartor 21_6_14

Finally, this afternoon I wandered around to the next city gate (Sendlinger Tor) and sketched it as fast as I (reasonably) could.

Sendlinger Tor

One thing you might notice: the weather has been stunning!


A better Lionel

I’m back in Munich now after an excellent week in Colorado. I am here for five weeks now so have a serviced apartment, with a small kitchenette and all the necessaries for medium-term survival. Here is a quick sketch of the view from the balcony.


In the meantime I’ve had a very productive time in Colorado. After a week of being interviewed & videotaped, been coached and given coaching, been given multiple forms of feedback – from my work colleagues, classmates and course leaders, I now have a much better perspective on myself. And the short answer is: Judy and Juliette were right – I’m just fine. I have a few things to work on but, more importantly, a renewed confidence in my ability. And the 9 of us who went through the course together have forged very strong friendships in the week. It will be fun staying in touch with them.

Here is a sketch from when I tagged along in the golf cart with five of the team.


Oh, and one more thing, the course also focused on fitness for leaders. So I have decided to give a plant-based (vegan) diet a go for a while to see what it can do for my cholesterol levels. Here’s is my first attempt -note the nut-loaf alternative to meat. ;-)

So maybe there will be a better Lionel, after all?

Building a better Lionel

So I’m in Colorado for a week on a leadership development course. It promises to be both challenging and interesting, and with any luck beneficial (building a better L.). As a consequence I have bounced across the Atlantic from Munich – and will bounce back to Munich when done, as there is much to do there.

The flight was completely exhausting – Munich to Heathrow (4 hour transit), Heathrow to Dallas-Fort Worth (3 hours transit), DallasFW to Colorado Springs. On the last leg I was asleep before takeoff, roused long enough to have a half glass of water mid-flight, then woke again as we touched down.

So I didn’t sketch so much during the flights, here is a sketch from near the start of the journey:

I slept well overnight so was able to start taking in the views from my magnificent hotel (The Broadmoor) this morning. Here is the view from the breakfast restaurant:

And the view the other way from across the lake.



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