Friday, 26 April 2013

Recent Doodles

It's not just people sketching this Spring, I've been flexing the imagination as well.

These little sketchbook doodles are actually derived from real life. I bought a new bicycle recently, really. It doesn't look quite like this, but this is how I feel when I ride it.

Daughter really, really, REALLY wants a pet. Something cuddly and furry.

I say, wait until we move house.

Ah yes, our new house! Our lovely new house! Now that's been on my mind a lot recently....

There are a lot of things on my mind lately.... somehow it all gets rather twisted when it gets put to paper.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

April Tokyo Train Sketches Part 2

Here are some more sketches made earlier this month on Tokyo trains.

Den-en-Toshi line, evening rush-hour, yeay! I got a seat!

Den-en-Toshi line, evening rush-hour, These two drawings are the extent of what I could see from my seat
On this trip in particular I drew a lot of train passengers. Daughter and I were staying in familiar territory near Tama Plaza on the long Den-en-toshi line, which snakes from Chuo Rinkan in Yamato through the northern suburbs of Yokohama to the great hub of Shibuya, from whence it evolves into the Hanzomon line and continues eastwards through the middle of Tokyo. It takes around half an hour to travel on the express from Tama Plaza to Shibuya, but with the popularity of the suburbs beyond the Tamagawa river it's becoming increasingly difficult to get a seat, especially on the express even outside rush hours. It was often only when I caught the slower trains that I could sit and sketch.

Den-en-Toshi line, end of the day.

Whenever I could find a seat though I would quickly pull out my sketchbook and pen and secretively sketch away, hoping not to attract attention, which is actually quite easy in Tokyo because many people shut themselves off into their own worlds on trains, ignoring all around them, playing games on their smartphones, reading, sleeping (or feining sleep).

Hanzomon Line, daytime, Aoyama towards Shibuya

When will you get off? I don't know! You might change your position, or another passenger might suddenly block my view by standing in front. Quickly, rapidly I draw, secretly like a Ninja artist, seizing the fleeting moment. This kind of sketching exercise is full of excitement!!

Ginza Line bound for Shibuya

And I wonder, we are all on our own private journey's brought together in this metal shell rushing through the city. We are all en-route, I pry into your lives with my pen, what insights can you offer? What are you thinking? Where are you going? Where have you been? 
Den-en-Toshi line, en-route to Azamino
Dear train passenger models, muses of public transport system! I thank you!
This is my stop, I must be off! Farewell!
Den-en-Toshi line, en-route to Azamino

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tokyo on the Train

Daughter and I have just arrived home from another flying visit to Tokyo. As I was only in town for a couple of weeks it was a very busy time squeezing as much into each day as I could, most days spent zipping from one side of the city to the other. That's the way I like it though, Tokyo is a city in constant movement, it's a place to stay busy and on the move, a roaring metropolis. But it's also a place of fascination and beauty, filled with oases to dip into for much needed pauses.

Denentoshi Line to Shibuya
What I love about Tokyo is the contrast, on the one hand there's the sense of being lost in the crushing urban wheels of the city (which in itself can be a very comforting feeling), and on the other there's the discovery of gems: galleries, shops, cafes and other beacons of serenity and joy. It's these details that make the difference, though the city is a turbulent machine, it's filled with portals of tranquility.
Yamanote Line between Shinjuku and Ikebukuro

On this trip though a lot of my moments of calm were spent on the train, sketching away. From uptown Yamate to downtown Shitamachi, from fashionable Aoyama to suburban Yokohama, I traveled, and observed my fellow travellers. And here are some of them.
Chiyoda Line from Nezu to Meiji Jingumae

Inokashira Line from Kichijoji to Shibuya
Late night train, Denentoshi Line to Tama Plaza

Dozing highschool student. Morning train, Denentoshi Line to Shibuya