Friday, July 3, 2015

Urban Sketching, Reminiscence and Hope

 Late last week, Eli and I went to Canada for three days. It was a great break for us because in all this heat, we've been doing the prep work for painting our house. It was warm in White Rock, B.C., but the beach was one house and one street from where we stayed...and there was some breeze from that proximity. The first afternoon, we ate dinner very early...before anyone else had the same idea. The restaurant was ours. We ate some great Greek food at the Cosmos Greek Restaurant while downing many frosty glasses of sweet ice tea, extra lemon. (Ice tea, Canadian style). Since only a couple of other tables had guests by the time we were done, it was time to sketch the yet empty tables on the patio.
The next day, while Eli did some writing in our rented studio apartment, I went exploring down Marine View Driven, the main drag by the waterfront.  Up on the higher up waterfront sidewalk, I saw artists had set up tables, easels, umbrellas, etc. as sales 'booths' to sell their art. Hmmm. Nothing wrong at all with that picture: ocean breeze, shade and seating by a wall, a view of the States across the water, and, a fellow artist close by to chat with when either of us took a break. She 'posed' in the position above for about 2 minutes...and moved constantly the rest of the time I was there.
After my 'artist-model' packed up her gear to leave for a dinner with some friends in Vancouver, I went around the building to its other side. Again, the shade was right where I needed it. And, there was a bench! Because of the heat, I chose shade first, view second. If I wasn't a slow sketcher, I could have done several other nice views without moving an inch from this perfect spot.
The next day, while I waited for Eli to finish an appointment, I walked down the block and found a Tim Horton's Restaurant kitty corner from a covered bus stop that had lots of empty, shaded seating! I felt a bit guilty the whole time I sketched (but not too much, apparently) : I kept nodding 'no' to approaching bus drivers, to let them know they need not pull over and stop for me. I once left a Tim Horton's and accidentally forgot my purse hanging on the back of my chair. It was returned to me hours later,  100% contents intact: an almost full sketchbook, sketching materials, money, credit cards, the usual. To borrow one of my husband's favorite phrases: "sometimes we're luckier than we're smart."

Yesterday I got up at 5 am to chip paint and caulk in the ever-increasing heat of the day. Today, I got up at the same time and gardened until a few minutes ago (almost 1 pm.) I reminisced, most of the time, about last week's Canadian sketch-outs, remembering everything I saw around me and 'feeling'  the shade and breezes. While I had focused on what I sketched, I also remembered lots of things that weren't put into my sketches. When I wasn't reminiscing , I was dreaming ahead about an invitation I received in my email today: to go sketching with some friends this coming Sunday. All day!  It's written in ink on my calendar.(Admittedly, most things are.)  Reminiscence and Hope, two delicious, pleasurable side-benefits of urban sketching.  I often  enjoy them both when I'm not sketching. I hope the same happens for you!!

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