Saturday, January 3, 2009


Today I attended my first ever sketchcrawl with my partner in crime, Cathy. On the first Saturday of the month, a group of people meet at a pre-determined location and spend about two hours sketching their surroundings. Today's location was the West Side Market. Cathy and I decided to start out near the food stands and we searched for a spot that would be out of the path of the crowd of shoppers.

I had a hard time getting started for several reasons: I haven't sketched in a long time and I'm not very good at it; I've never sketched in a public place; I've never sketched standing up; and I don't like crowded spaces. After much deliberation, I settled on a display of cream puffs and got to work. It was hard to ignore the stares of the shoppers and the glare of the bakery vendor who probably would have preferred if I had bought a cream puff instead of sketching them. I only got three of the four cream puffs drawn before I was jostled aside by paying customers. I decided I didn't like sketching so close to people in such a crowded place so I went outside to find something else to draw.

I went to the alley behind the fruit and vegetable stands where they toss out empty boxes and trash. I found a half empty box of tomatoes and decided to sketch that. After a while I rejoined Cathy inside and we went to the balcony to meet up with the rest of the group. It felt good to sit down, so I pulled out my watercolor pencils and spent the rest of the time adding color to my sketches.

We had a lot of fun and we're going to try and make the sketchcrawl a regular monthly outing. I don't think my sketches are great, but at least it leaves me a lot of room for improvement in the months ahead.


magpie said...

wanted to thank you for sharing your journal in 'journaling' and esp. for one sentence: "I struggle with the desire for spontaneity ..."

as a graphic designer my need for order seems to thwart my occasional attempts at the spontaneous exuberance i admire in so many visual journals.

nice to know i'm not alone in that.

Pat Pitingolo said...

Hmmm. My background is in graphic design as well. You might be on to something here.

Cathy said...

Hey, Pat! Nice to see your stuff posted so quickly.

The hard part for me was sketching standing up, wearing a coat, and losing the view of my art object!