Sunday, September 13, 2015

My 5th book: Urban Sketching (My Journey to) Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu - One of the New Seven Wonders of the World is an unbelievable place - a place you almost have to see for yourself to truly believe. I still remember the first time seeing a photo of the 15th century Inca site located high up in the mountain ridge not being able to believe such a place existed in this world.

For 8 years my wife and I kept on doing research in wanting to go but and kept on postponing the trip since it seemed quite difficult to get there and the altitude sickness seemed to be common with travelers not being able to enjoy the trip. In spring of 2015, we finally made it out there guided by our good friend and travel expert helping us safely get there and not get sick!

All I could say is that the trip was just amazing. Our initial expectations were high to begin with but it even exceeded those high expectations.

This 74 page book captures the exact route we took, what transportation methods we used, what hotels we stayed in, what altitudes were in each location and how we avoided getting altitude sickness. All this information along with all the on-location sketches I did (along with some photos) are bundled into this one book. I truly hope there is something fun or informational in this book for everyone!

back cover

Monday, May 4, 2015


It's been a while since i was last in Chicago and it's nice to be back.
I'm here for a few days for a graphics design conference.
Before going to the conference, i had a few moments to go sketch one if my favorite sculptures in the city - the 'cloud' or the 'bean'.
I was sketching and a guy came over, complimented my sketch, then gave me a polaroid print of me. That's the first time anyone gave me a photo!
Beautiful day!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Penpen - We miss you.

Penpen came into our lives almost 8 years ago.

We used to live in Pittsburgh and drove couple hours to a Bengal breeder we located in Ohio.
There were numerous couple week old kittens we saw and the idea was that we would pick one out then return in a few months to pick them up once a little older to take home. All of them were cute and hard to decide since at that age personality is hard to tell.
Later we were shown another cat that was expected to be purchased but was canceled at the last minute - that was Penpen and we quickly fell in love with her playful personality an her beautiful eyes. Upon meeting us, she wouldn't stop playing. We took her home that day.

PenPen loved to play, loved people and was not afraid of anything including water and little children. On occasional trips out of town, we used to take her with us in our car prepped with food, water and a litter box.

PenPen moved a lot so most sketches of PenPen were done when she was sleeping - mostly sleeping with kana or sleeping on her lap.

Occasionally I was able to get sketches of her when she was 'half' awake - still half asleep so she didn't move around too much.

Here's a fun one of here in the kitchen area - she just sneaked right in.

I also had a few fun sketches I didn't even know I had of Penpen, like this one when I was practicing my portrait sketching by looking at a mirror. She came next to me while I was sketching so she was included in.

She occasionally also came and sat on my laptop - they get warm so I could see why she liked it so much. Here I'm watching 'Amachan' - a very popular Japanese TV show at the time and I had to shrink the window small and move to the right so I could see.

My favorites scenes were when Kana and PenPen were sleeping together. It always made me feel warm inside and gave me the strength to want to work harder and to take care of them. On the weekends I had time to do a few sketches of them.

Mid January this year, PenPen started acting a little strange.
She wouldn't come greet us at the door when we came home like she always did, and she tended to sit away from us which she never did before too. After 3 days of this, we decided to take her into the hospital to have her checked out.

At first we were told she was slightly anemic,
then a few days later we were told she had Leukemia.

We talked to a specialist doctor and discussed all options on what we could do.
There were very little we could do and the most we could do was to be by her side as much as possible.

I sketched her everyday to be able to cope with this sadness.


The very next day after she died, we took her to a pet funeral place in Rhode Island.
We were able to spend some time with her to say good bye in a private room and they took care of PenPen very well.

Penpen was 7 years old, almost turning 8.
We miss her dearly.

She was the worlds greatest cat for us.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Shellabration Week 4 - Puerto Rican Theme

This weeks dish featured a Puerto Rican Chillo Frito - Red Snapper.
Really good and I'm starting to really like this Shiraz too!
I was told this wine couldn't be purchased at as store though, bummer....

I'm going to be missing out on week 5 Shellabration since I'll be out of town on a business trip next week. Another bummer.....

Shellabration Week 4 & B&G Oysters

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

B&G Oysters: Shellabration Week 3 - 1 Whole Fish!

Here's week 3 of B&G 'Shellabration'.
This week featured one whole Dorade Fish!
Also came with Fennel/pork lasagna and warm Squash salad. 
We were able to eat and head back home before the huge blizard hit Boston. Excellent food as usual!

Chef hard at work frying the fish
Nice glass of Syrah to go with the meal.