I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cycles, it's all cycles.

Never had a bike sized to me. Jason at Montano Velo on Piedmont Avenue ordered this bike after taking my measurements. Once put together at the store it was further adjusted to me while riding it. Compared to all my meager riding experiences, this bike rides like butter.

Bicycle, that is I used to ride road bikes several lifetimes ago and was adequate on it. Tackled distance and moderate climbs; cramped up on a dirt road, last of the group to hobble onto the rest stop; took on the traffic of the reckless streets of Manila and Makati on the way home from my the brothers' apartment. Gave it up when I came over to the U.S. I've been here since '89.

This last week I bought a road bike. Kevin Nolting (cyclist and film editor at the studio) told me that it'll all come back to me in no time. I had concerns. I once knelt down as I pinned up a sequence onto a board expecting the padding of office carpet only to have my patella pound full force onto a metal push pin laying on its side. I twisted in pain for a while on that floor ten years ago. The left knee will always have sharp pain from then on. Stairs would feel like steak knives cutting on the knee. The right one started to have sympathetic pain.

I rode today and I was gasping within seconds. The knee also reminded me it hadn't gone away. The small cemetery at the end of Piedmont Avenue offered me only fifteen minutes to ride before they close the gates. I managed to dash off a quick sketch. This is it below. I really wanted to couple riding the bike with drawing outdoors. This is my first sketch while riding and it felt good.

Mountain View Cemetery. Quiet and no cars. The sun was setting, this one mausoleum had good orange light. Not enough time, I had to watercolor it after I got home.

It's getting dark. I head out to the flat streets and will have to turn back to go home. I didn't. I'm riding into work with James Dashe tomorrow and I wanted to get a feel for the terrain and traffic. I got over one rise and was on flat roads again. I decided to pedal to work. It's not far, but for a sedentary artist who's not ridden a vehicle needing human exertion it was a challenge. But I made it.

Getting that done was good. I'm already planning how my day can accomodate more time on the bike. I didn't even notice the knee.


Anonymous Sora said...

Amazing sketch. It has very clear and serene atmosphere. I sincerely admire your way of water-color painting.

5:30 AM

Blogger Jenny said...

Very beautiful study. I love going to cemeteries to draw--the old, interesting ones, like the one behind Paramount.
I sympathise with the pushpin debacle. It's happened to me. Odd how much pain that can cause--it's akin to shutting a door on one's finger! Yeowch.
That's such a drag that it's affected you all this time. : (

12:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a brave man riding a mountain bike in the streets of Manila and Makati. With all the jeepneys, tricycles, motorbikes as well as pot holes, it must take nerves of steel riding just a bicycle. My PI friends used to ride in the relatively tranquil roads near Tagaytay. It is also cooler in this area.


1:46 PM

Blogger Ronnie said...

Thanks, Sora. My watercolor style needs to step up from the rushed, light washes I've been doing. Travel watercolors are fine, but I'm looking forward to making larger pieces with fuller intensity of color. I saw the National Academy exibit of watercolors from earlier in the last century. They were very inspiring. There was an Andrew Wyeth I wish I could have stood in front of longer. Running a fever then.

Jenny! Aren't cemeteries cool? There are ones that have maintained their classical feel from the forties; landscaping and mausoleum designs, masonry...Good for a sketch workout. I wonder if it's okay to do some rubbings? I should ask. The push pin incident was a bummer. It's actually quite common, eh? But in these days of digital media, our knees have less to fear. Though my mid section gains mass at will.

Charles--you know it. I've been nudged by them lumbering monoxide spewing buses. Oddly enough I never had any mishaps. No nerves of steel, just didn't know any better. These days I'd freak out. Tagaytay seems like the place to buy a summer getaway home, eh? Riders there, you say? I should try this out.

Be well, all.


6:45 PM

Blogger william wray said...

Nice little study, it's love you girls ,but it's nice to see sometng different.

10:16 PM

Blogger Alina Chau said...

nice painting!

7:22 AM


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