Drawings Sketchbook

Drawings 002

(Please click on the images to see them at their full size.)

More drawings and sketches from my journals and sketchbooks.

Ashitakayama Lunch Break
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.
Ashitakayama Favorite Place
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 of Ashitakayama
Backroad behind Ashitakayama, a long walk around the foothill, and down to the town where I lived.
Sunset on Ashitakayama
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.
Coastal Commandments
Commissioned illustration for the SeaDoc Society, University of California, Davis.
Deady Hall University of Oregon
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.
Descending from a Rain Storm
Quick sketch, descending a mountain from a rain storm.
Monster Studies 001
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.
Riding North
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.
Teja 001
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 001
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.
Newton Apartment Room
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”.
Corded Tree of Life
Quick sketch of a coppiced tree, Lincoln, Massachusetts

10 replies on “Drawings 002”

I’m glad you both like them! It’s great to finally get them aired out for more people to see. Most of them have never been seen by anyone! It’s getting me enthusiastic about drawing, too.


Yes, I second Pascale’s and Roger’s comments. I think I remarked last time on the energy and confidence of your drawings, but consider it said again. To me, your drawings have a kind of immediacy, an authority; they convey a feeling of having been transferred directly from the heart rather than having been constructed. I love that.

“Descending from a rainstorm” is simply astonishing, astonishingly simple. I suppose I shouldn’t single out particular drawings for fear of suggesting the others aren’t as good, but I feel compelled to point also to “Secret hideout” and “Backroad”.


Pete, it’s an odd feeling getting comments on drawings that have been sitting in boxes, some of them for over thirty years. Suddenly they’re out in the world, and breathing with life, and I feel like a doting parent, worried about the little ‘uns getting bullied or ignored. But I guess like any living thing, they have to stand on their own feet and be what they are. Nice to see that they seem to have made an impression and I can’t hold back a little and allow them to make their own mistakes.

“Descending from a Rainstorm” sort of surprised me. I dashed it out so quickly… more as an afterthought than a real concerted effort to depict anything… that it barely registers in the memory of my hand. I remember every image I’ve ever drawn or taken. And this one flits before my mind’s eye like a glance.



Gosh, Miguel, anyone who draws this well should be drawing all the time! Thanks so much for sharing these. I especially like the two portraits, so different and both very, very good. But they’re all good! It’s fun for me to see someone else’s older work and all the different styles you’ve used, and through them to feel your hand moving over the page and your eye moving over the scene. I’m glad we can share this with each other. Please do more, the fact that you’re showing these now means something…


Coming from you, Beth, that’s quite a compliment! I simply love your work and am pretty impressed with your sense of composition, your ability to render difficult forms, and your ability to convey a mood and atmosphere that strikes very powerfully. Your Iceland work is simply amazing!

I’m enjoying getting the blog active again, and want to share as much of all the things I’ve been keeping locked away for so long.


Congratualtions on liberating your “archived” art. What a great way to make sure that they have a longer life and nice of you to share them. They have energy, warmth, and whimsy and isn’t it great to look back on your history through them this way?



Putting out more writing and photographs and drawings lately has reinvigorated blogging for me. I’ve missed it. I guess having the blog interface more sensibly set up and much easier to work with has made a huge difference. Less time on the boring technical stuff, and more time on the actual reason I’m doing the blog!


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