Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Still avoiding...

...still taking long walks, still drawing horizontal things around my house


Saturday, July 26, 2014


I am so avoiding working on the three commissions I have lined up. Drawing all things horizontal in this silly 3"x 8" sketchbook that I have no idea why I bought years ago.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July Sunday in Maine

An early morning 8 mile walk with Patti, a latte, a green smoothie, 5 hours at the gallery staring at a canvas, and take out sushi. Much like the Camino, but no 20 lb pack, a green smoothie and take out sushi. I'm ignoring the canvas...
Pecha Kucha presentation on July 24 at Asylum in Portland Maine. I am presenting with 10 other people who have amazing stories to tell. I am presenting my Camino journey through my sketches.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Santiago de Compostela

I returned home from Spain two weeks ago. It has not been easy to assimilate back into life here after my amazing journey. The Camino occupies a great deal of my thoughts and I find I terribly miss being a walker/sketcher/pilgrim...
My accordion sketch book of the plaza in Santiago finally got colored in after sadly sitting unopened until today. What great memory of going from window to window of the Parador Hotel sketching this beautiful scene.
Gracias nuevo España. Realmente fue un buen Camino.

Close-ups of accordion sketchbook.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Muchas gracias Spain

The sun was out with bright blue skies for our last morning in Santiago. We had a couple of hours to kill before our long trip home so I went in search of my last café con leche. Almost as much as the café con leche, I love the cup and saucer and the little spoon. Sadly, I left my last red lipstick mark on my last cup in Spain.
Muchas gracias Spain. It truly was a “Buen Camino”
(In case you are thinking “that is just so tacky”…I always wipe it off before I leave)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Santiago, Spain-one last hug for St James

One last visit to the cathedral where I hugged St James...for the second time.
We leave tomorrow after 40 days, 32 of which were on the Camino, it is time to go home. I am tired, ready for my home and my own bed, being back with my sweet little dog Sophie, walking the beach and getting back to the gallery and painting. However, I am already thinking about my next walk/sketch...

Santiago-panorama of cathedral and plaza

Still drizzling I managed to find a place to sketch the cathedral and plaza from the tall window in an old unused restaurant in the Parador hotel off the plaza. I used a USK accordion sketchbook. I can't believe I took this on as my attention to detail can wane as you can see if you look close : ) I kept saying to myself "they actually built it thousands of years ago, so at least I could finish my sketch in a few hours" so I carried on through the afternoon.
Patti took a photo of me with my sketch (in the drizzle) before I attack it with watercolor. Then off we went to shop and check out the local market where this "non-meat-eater" scored her last local jamon before we head back home tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

After the Camino-Exploring Santiago, Spain.

Still cool and drizzly in Santiago as we explore the city. I didn't have to go far to find a cafe con leche, ending up with a delicious grande and sketching this woman at a "Restaurante/Jamoneria". I've never heard of a Jamoneria, but it was a regular cafe with jamon hanging from most parts of the ceiling...interesting...
Some of our pilgrim friends are still here, but tonight we sadly said goodbye to our most wonderful new friends-Lawrence, Neil, Wim and Erwin. I will miss you guys!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Santiago, Spain-A day without walking

It is a little rainy and cold in Santiago so I am layered up in all my Camino clothes-luckily they are freshly laundered. A quiet day with no walking, a late morning cafe con leche, souvenir shopping and reflection. When the sun finally came out for a bit I sat and sketched, but kept it simple-no cathedral for this ex pilgrim/sketcher!!!

El Camino di Santiago-finished!!!

We arrived in Santiago around noon on May 25th. We walked 500 miles in 32 days. We congratulated other pilgrims and hugged our new pilgrim friends as we waited in line for our compostelas. Someone said "When you get to Santiago you are no longer a pilgrim you are a tourist". 
I am coming trying to come to terms with that...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

El Camino di Santiago- tomorrow we finish our journey

After 13 miles in sun and clouds we reached Arca-O Pino which is the final town on the Camino before Santiago. We are enjoying the most delicious dish of Pimentos de Padron before we head back to our final Camino Albergue bunk-room of pilgrims. Tonight we share with 14 other pilgrims.

Tomorrow hundreds of us start our 12 mile walk into Santiago. We have no idea what that means...

On my way to Santiago!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Camino di Santiago-25 miles to go...

Yesterday was another drizzly walk in Galicia to Palas de Rei. Cold and rainy so I was left to sketch in the cafe at the Albergue. The walls were covered with pilgrim paraphernalia and coins from all over the world. Lots of pilgrims sharing the sleeping quarters, but at least I had the highly coveted lower (abajo) bunk.

This morning, with 40 miles to go, I got up at 5:45 leaving a bunk room filled with 20 sleeping pilgrims from all over the world. We have been walking now for 30 days and getting a good nights sleep on the Camino is almost impossible. 
I looked in the mirror and there I was, as usual, with my hair sticking out all over the place and dark circles under my eyes. I thought "I am so over the Camino", but I brushed my teeth, put my hair up, downed a cafe con leche grande, pulled my poncho over head and my 20 lb pack and off we went to walk 16 miles in the pelting rain...
25 miles to Santiago.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-closer everyday

We walked 14 miles yesterday in our new ponchos : )
The Province of Galicia is the final third of the Camino and is much colder and wetter, but Santiago is within reach-only 3 walking days left. So different than the meseta or middle region of the Camino where it was hot, dry and flat and messed with the perception of time and distance, tested your mind, confronted your heart and seemed almost an unfathomable distance to Santiago.

We arrived in Portomarin a little cold and wet, but without ponchos we would have been soaked. All the cafés surrounded the plaza and the church of San Nicolás, so I sketched from the warmth of a cafe. 
52 miles to Santiago...and rain is predicted most days.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-57 miles to go.

It's still raining in Galicia so everyone is wearing a poncho. 
I was sent out last night to find ponchos as rain is predicted for the next few days. One place wanted 40 euros-for a poncho?, but I scored these at 4 euros each. They kept us dry today, but I look strangely like Big Bird...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Camino di Santiago-70 miles to Santiago

Patti back on the Camino with me as we walked 16 miles over the pass through Ócebreiro looking back across the province of Leon and down into Triacastela in the province of Galicia which is known for rain...it is raining!!!

Upon arriving in Triacastela we saw two burros in the field enjoying a snack of tall green grass. I chatted and sketched while she explained their journey with burros. LuLu the burro carried the pilgrims pack along with her feed bucket and things a burro needs. According to the pilgrim, burros should not travel alone as they are very social animals. So dos burros.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-less than 100 miles to go

After 18 miles in the hot Spanish sun we made it to Villafranca, Spain where I sketched the Iglesias San Francisco in the main plaza.

Today was a long hot mostly 20 mile uphill walk through tiny little Spanish hamlets. Tonight we are staying in a  one Albergue town where the cows and chickens share the plaza with us pilgrims as we eat, drink and reflect upon our day and the journey.

My walking friend Patti got sick last night so today I walked alone. However since starting this journey I have met many wonderful pilgrims many of which we see daily or every other day. Today I was lucky to come upon my favorite pilgrims "The Three Amigos"-Win and Erwin father and son from The Netherlands and Larry from Canada and we shared a bit of time on the trail...and always lots of laughs!!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-La Cruz de Ferro

Up early...as usual, we walked over the pass reaching the highest point of our journey at La Cruz de Ferro where we left our rocks while the full moon was setting. It was quite spectacular. 

Then the long walk downhill along the snow covered mountains with lavender and beautiful yellow and white broom. A lovely day on the Camino.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Almost at the highest point on the Camino

After today's 16 mile uphill walk, I sketched the structure across the street from our Albergue in the tiny mostly abandoned town of Foncebadón Spain. It is near the highest point of our journey where there is La Cruz de Ferro. It is a pilgrim tradition to bring a rock from home to lay at the base of this iron cross. I have carried two rocks from the beach near my home in Maine that I will leave there tomorrow morning as we go over the pass.

My pack will still be heavy even without these two rocks...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Less than 200 miles to go on the Camino di Santiago

A little over 300 miles in the small town of Villar de Mazarife. Tomorrow we do 20 miles. 

Patti has met a Canadian and they have thrown down the gauntlet over the hockey play-offs...on the Camino???

The walking is pretty easy compared to the daily routine of packing and repacking, organizing, showering and sleeping with as many as 12-24 people in bunk beds. Then there is my hair...I wear it up everyday in some kind of scrunchie. I wore the fake hair piece the other day, it then flew off in the wind and rolled down the cobblestone street of Santa Domingo like a tumbleweed. I had to chase it down : )

Monday, May 12, 2014

Camino di Santiago-Leon, Spain

A day in Leon Spain as we reached the 300 mile mark of our journey. I spent a sunny morning sketching in the Plaza de San Marcos. I don't usually have the patience to do anything as complex as this building, but I decided to give it a try. Between the 19 miles the day before and San Marcos I am pretty much done for the rest of the day...