Red-eyed Sketcher

Travel can be such a discombobulating experience. Your body doesn’t seem to recognize the passage across many timezones. When really it wants to take a nap on Pacific Coast Time.

Jet lag is the necessary evil we all must endure if we want to explore our planet from west to east or north to south. It is a deal we make with our internal body clocks as we throw time up in the air like a handful of big leaf maple shimaras, not really knowing where they are going to fall.

As such we must almost write off the first few days in the new time zone as a wash. But I was determined to sketch through the weariness and mild hallucinations of jet- set time travel.

I started off right by not getting much sleep the night before my journey to Catalunya as my airport shuttle arrived at 4:45 AM. What’s the point of sleeping if your just going to get up anyway? I falsely reasoned.

My flight boarded at 6:30 AM but half way through boarding, they halted the process because, “ they were doing some maintenance at the back of the plane. “ I later found out that one of the three lavatories was out of order. The captain advised us not to drink much water!

I used this delay as an excuse to do a quick sketch of the chariot that would be taking me to Miami, a Boeing 737-800.

Indeed it was a quick sketch because my boarding group was called and I shuffled off, zombie-like, towards gate 56A. Oh well, I’d have to add a little color and text later.

After a few attempts at a catnap I was excited to find an expandable painting easel in the chair back in front of me right at eye level! And it perfectly fit my small landscape sketchbook! My only question was, “Now why isn’t everyone else sketching and painting in their sketchbooks?” Seemed like a perfectly rational inquiry to me.

After Miami I was to catch a redeye to Barcelona and after taking a taxi into the the Gracia neighborhood and checking into my terrace apartment, I planned to unpack my sketching bag and head out five blocks to the southeast and attempt the impossible: capturing Gaudí’s unfinished psychedelic masterwork, La Sagrada Familia into the pages of my watercolor sketchbook. And doing it all on a few hours of sleep.

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