Packing blog

Packing for Spain (30.5 cms x 29.9 cms ink and watercolour 2016)

There may be radio silence for the next couple of weeks as Ms Certain Line and I travel to Spain for a short break. We begin in Seville then head for the mountains of Andalucia for a week. Supposedly we have internet access but…well, we’re pretty remote by the looks of things.

I’ve already started packing as you can see. I have a pen and a reserve pen, and another pen in case the reserve pen lets me down. I also have my favourite pencil, my second favourite pencil, and my third favourite pencil in case…well, you get the idea. I’ve packed Felix Scheinberger’s wonderful book, Urban Watercolour Sketching, although I’m taking the original edition – each one decorated by Scheinberger himself – so I can improve my German and loosen up my painting simultaneously.

I hope to be able to post lots of paintings of Andalucian white hill towns on my return. Fingers crossed: the last time I was in Spain I painted one flower and an odd orange-coloured fruit…


The splendid Jacob, ‘onlie begetter’ of the fascinating and witty Jaywalks blog, has kindly nominated me for a Liebster award. I’m enormously flattered: being given an award by other bloggers who take the time to read and appreciate what you do is praise indeed. Nominating ten others in my turn is difficult: I follow a lot of terrific blogs, many of whom have already received nominations or don’t take part in such things. I’ll therefore nominate ten that I find particularly inspiring (it could have been twenty, or thirty, or…):

Instead of answering ten questions – are you really interested in my ten favourite cheeses or my most-loved fictional horse? – let me share an inspirational evening with you.

Around 1980 I was taken to a Meredith Monk concert in an intimate performance space in New York City. It was a remarkable, baffling, challenging evening – like nothing I’d ever seen before. In the interval I cranked up my English accent and – pretending to be a journalist from the London Review of Books (I actually sold ad space there) – interviewed members of the audience about their reactions to the pieces: they were generous and open  in their responses.

Although I haven’t kept up with Ms Monk’s work since, that evening was revelatory: she demonstrated that music needn’t be popular, jazz or classical; that singing needn’t be verbal; that dance needn’t be balletic. Most of all, she drew back the curtain on discovery and curiosity – my cultural world doubled in size, my horizons broadened and deepened.

So thank you Jacob, thank you Meredith Monk and thank you for reading.

36 thoughts on “Packing

  1. What a delightful way to “write” a packing list – especially for your art supplies (sort of a meta-supply list). I particularly like the purple pencil. Thank you for linking to my blog here. You are an inspiration to me as well. May you and Ms. Center Line have a marvelous holiday. I look forward to all those paintings of Spain upon your return.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like your sketch; your packing looks admirably restrained to me… 😉 I hope you have a splendid time in Spain, full of inspiration, even if it doesn’t always make it directly to the page! And thanks for so many new links to explore, always fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the sketch of your materials…no waiting around for inspiration just draw. I will have to look up your 10’s. Thanks for sharing!!! And have a fab trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Michael, let me reciprocate as ever your appreciation and compliments, I wish you bon voyage! With best wishes and kind regards. Edoardo


  5. No end of treats in this one! Awesome drawing – love that pencil mark. Also thanks for accepting the award and nominating some truly cracking blogs (and Meredith Monk, too; how fascinating, and what a fun story!)

    Have a great break, Michael – I’ll very much look forward to the holiday snaps!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I adore Andalucia, have the best time Michael, and what a lovely post to go off on. I’m on holiday in France at the moment, hope you get more sketching down than I’m managing!
    And thanks for that list of blog recommendations, I’ve been browsing through them and they’re great, I feel inspired, I may even get the pencils out today 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was just happily reading this post and thinking to wish you well on your travels and I love the shadow beneath each tool you have painted. I was then so surprised to find my blog listed in the body of your writings. Really honoured and very humbled. Thank you so much for reading and have a throughly wonderful trip 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: All these broken pieces | A Certain Line

  9. Wow I love getting awards!! Thank you so much Certainline. Hope you and the Ms. C have a fabulous trip. Sounds great. And I am in love with your line drawings. I stopped wishing I could do that kind of drawing. Now I love appreciating others gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

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