Letting the Page Evolve

6:38 AM

View From Hamburger Mary's
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Ink and Watercolor
Stillman & Birn Zeta
Just as a planned day sometimes takes an unexpected detour that turns out to be far more enjoyable than what was originally planned, so goes a journal page.

When it comes to the page, I usually have a vague plan in mind of what I'm trying to capture/create. The day, not so much.

We had a loose plan to have lunch at Carmine's, an old establishment that's been in Ybor City forever and to go to the movies.

Tin ceilings and concrete floors are just part of the "ambience" of Carmine's, but they do not make for good acoustics. Since it was Father's Day weekend, there were several groups in the restaurant, each talking over the other in an effort to be heard. Add to that a two-year-old who desperately needed a nap and it was bedlam.

We couldn't hear ourselves think, let alone speak, so we left before they came to take our drink order. We knew finding another place to eat wouldn't be a problem. There are plenty of great restaurants in Ybor City. If you go hungry, it's your own fault. 

We wandered down the street to Hamburger Mary's and it was blessedly quiet. A bonus of this new venue was our waiter—he was quite a treat! It was obvious he liked people, cutting up and having fun. Of course, at Mary's, I think that may be part of the job requirement.

Back to the sketch…looking around, I spotted the window above across the way. It was partially blocked by an overhang, but I could see enough of it and decided to go for it. At this point, I would sketch the window and add just a splash of color, but not color the whole thing. 

Nothing would do but for the waiter to sit down beside me in the booth to see where I was looking as he could not see the window from his perspective while standing up. Leaving the booth, he turned to ask, "Do you want some crayons?"

"Nope," I responded, "brought my own." 

The food was excellent and Mary's typically has great cakes and when I inquired about flavors, I was told there was no cake. NO cake?! How could this be?! 

The waiter offered me cookies, brownies, a bun with frosting and several other combinations. He even offered to step down to another restaurant to get me a piece of cake. Now, mind you, most of these were offered with a heavy dose of sarcasm and a large dollop of humor. 

When I informed him only Mary's cake and no other would do, he threw up his hands and walked away muttering (again, all in playful jest).

In the end, he surprised me with a Hershey's® chocolate bar when he delivered the check. What a cool (and sweet) thing to do!

Between goofing around with the waiter and sketching, we were nearly late to the movie. Eek! When we left Mary's, this was as far as I'd made it:
The beginning of the page.
The red oval highlights the mistake I made right off the bat.
Because I was too busy playing with the waiter and not spending enough time concentrating on my sketch, there are a number of "structural" issues with the sketch above and when I finally got past the overhang, I was quite surprised to see the top of the window looked nothing like my sketch.

In fact, it wasn't until later that I figured out what the problem was. Rather than letting it stand, I pulled out my white Sharpie poster marker and extended the white window sill over to the right. 

The day and sketch would have been woefully deficient had I not added the Hershey bar and Hamburger Mary's logo in honor of a man that was fabulous at his job. He really was too much fun, not to mention a real sweetie!

We hurried to the ticket counter and purchased tickets for How To Train Your Dragon 2. I walked into the theater waving my sketchbook up and down in order to get the page dry so I could put the book away before the start of the movie. (Great movie and highly recommended!)

After watching HTTYD2, we decided to see Edge of Tomorrow (an excellent movie) with Tom Cruise. We haven't watched two movies back-to-back (at the theater) in years, but it was fun and made for a very enjoyable day. Besides, it looked like it was getting ready to flood outside. 

Adding a ticket from each movie to the right side of the page serves as a reminder of what we did. All in all, a fabulous day and the sketch will make it easy to remember as I flip back through the book. 
Movie tickets added to the page and a close up of the white "fix."
You can see the "corrected" window sill in this image. 

Despite the imperfections, I find they don't detract from the memory in any way. If anything, for me, they add to the "patina" of the page as they speak to my divided attention.  

The journaling was added last as I recaptured my thoughts of the day, but I wanted it to appear as though the chocolate and sticker had been added last. 

Rather than get aggravated about the change to our day, we managed to embrace those unexpected moments and add them to the day and the page. It made for a far richer experience. 

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