(Please click on the images to see them at their full size.)
More drawings and sketches from my journals and sketchbooks.
Taking a break on the way up Ashitaka-yama in Shizuoka Prefecture. This was the first mountain I started climbing and getting serious about hiking. It is relatively unknown in Japan, even though it has some of the most spectacular views of Mt. Fuji in the country. Over the years the trail has changed a lot, with the rotten rock halfway up yearly falling away, and gradually eating at the narrow ridge where the only trail is possible. It might one day be that climbs to the summit will no longer be possible, as the ridge turns into a razorback ridge.
A secret hideout that I often went to when I wanted to be alone and sure of no other walkers happening by. It has the best panorama of Mt. Fuji of any place I walked. Many nights I pitched my tent right beside this enormous spruce tree and listened to Sika deer, macaques, foxes, raccoon dogs, and wild boars whistle, screech, yip, cry, and grunt in the underbrush. Bamboo grass gradually began to take over the grassy hillside, and these days this little area is most likely overrun with bushes and small trees.
Backroad behind Ashitakayama, a long walk around the foothill, and down to the town where I lived.
Walking home in the last light along the ridge of Ashitakayama. The first time I climbed the mountain late, descending as darkness came on, I hadn’t realized that the terminus of the northern branch of the trail led into Safari Park, a famous open-air zoo. As I stomped down the steep trail, I heard enormous grunting sounds from down below and was certain they were bears. My hands going cold and heart racing, I carefully made my way down, only to see, ahead through the trees, the flat grounds of the zoo. Tiny from where I stood, I made out the forms of male lions, all of them roaring in succession. Their voices boomed throughout the valley.
Commissioned illustration for the SeaDoc Society, University of California, Davis.
Sketch of Deady Hall, University of Oregon. I spent hours and hours every week sitting and sketch many parts of the university campus and environs. The campus was a perfect environment for contemplations and taking time to learn and see.
Quick sketch, descending a mountain from a rain storm.
Drawing has always allowed me to set my mind free. I love expressing joy and horror and all other range of emotions, and seeing where the pen takes me.
Besides hiking, I’ve loved bicycle travel ever since I was old enough to set out from home alone. I still find it the best way to travel and see new lands and meet people. It is just fast enough to cover a good distance each day, but slow enough to feel the wind and smell the rain in the air, and stop to talk to people.
My brother Teja. We’ve always been very close, like best friends, and have always been able to talk about everything together. It’s difficult living far away from him, and only seeing him once every few years. He’s an inspiration to me… living life to the fullest and with a courage and forthrightness that puts my shy efforts to shame. A born comedian, too. You can often catch him on PBS in Boston, doing shows about ethnicity and racial issues. Very proud to be his brother!
Wendy, a good friend from college, when we both studied architecture. We spent many hours discussing design and often seriously critiqued each other’s project designs. She was a jazz dancer, too, and always had me spellbound watching.
My room in Newton, Massachusetts. A bit of a crazy place, with room mates who must surely have crawled out of a TV comedy. One roommate on the witness protection plan (as he revealed one evening when he was stinking drunk), the other roommate a violent diabetic who would eat whole tubs of ice cream and then thrash about the apartment breaking down doors. The neighbors upstairs were insane, too. Out front stood a 8 meter tall sycamore tree stump, all the branches lopped off. It stood at an angle, so I called the entire house, “The House of the Bent Phallus”.
Quick sketch of a coppiced tree, Lincoln, Massachusetts