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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"No Fountain Of Youth, But..."

Fountain of Youth?
A two or three hour drive, I forget, and we were in Charleston, South Carolina and staying at the Mills House/ Windham hotel in the downtown area. My wife is so good at getting great hotels and getting them with incredible rates.

No thanks to Priceline, Orbitz or AAA. Just the best from an Irish Channel girl who hates paying more for anything...

I am truly "blessed".

Charleston's a great city. A different old South from other southern towns that claim to have old South roots. Like New Orleans, there's a lot of courtyards to lounge around in and have a knosh or two! We were here at the hotel for four days and I used all but one to get up early and have breakfast in the cool, but humid mornings. I broke my gluten free diet and enjoyed all this stomach could handle for breakfast.

And then, I'd sketch a little. This is the main courtyard with large wooden doors leading back into the air conditioned bar and tables. To the other side of the courtyard were arched walkways that lead one into a garden and then out into the street.

This is my first courtyard sketch from under a canvas parasol and facing a gorgeous, babbling fountain. I could not tell if it was an heirloom from the Civil War or one that was recently purchased at Costco, but the wonderful waterfall sight and sound had me transfixed for hours. I could have been totally happy to have spent the rest of our vacation right there. You can't tell from my sketch, but the area was covered in ferns, banana leaf plants, small magnolia trees and flowers.

I ended up using a large black Pentel because the fine line Pentel I had in my computer bag had died on me in Savannah, and I was too lazy to go back to the car to find a more suitable tool. But all things considered, I think I captured the feel pretty well.

All in all, it was a great four days in Charleston made all the better with my courtyard breakfast and sketching foray!

Copyright 2113/ Ben Bensen III

Friday, October 18, 2013

"Nothing Like A Window Seat!"

No Seats, No Problem...
This is a sketch that I did, impromptu and behind the magazine rack, of a girl taken charge with the best seat in the house. The sketch was done standing up. I don't think much of the drawing, but when a friend of mine told me how Barnes and Noble decided to replace comfy chairs to relax and read in with hard stools and chairs in the coffee shop, it was given new life.

I don't frequent our local bookstores like I used to and therefore never noticed the change, but this little lady had to have the best seat in the house!

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III

Friday, October 11, 2013

"A Southern Breakfast Without Ellipse Guides"...

An eliptical breakfast...

This is one of a series of sketches I did while on vacation in mid June. It was a very relaxing ten days away from all the troubles and domestic headaches that come with the day to day. This is one sketch that I intended to expand on and eventually did. The breakfasts were delightful and the early morning cool courtyard was a great nearest faraway place.

As you may or may not know, my wife loves to sleep in on vacations, so I get to have a quiet and reflective morning retreat with lots of coffee from Starbucks, a USAToday, and my sketchbook. Little did I realize, at this time, how reflective life was going to be on our return, but that's a story for another time.

I, also, didn't realize how circular my drawing would become until I actually started to put pen to paper!

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III