Every month, Cathy Johnson runs a virtual sketchcrawl where we all agree to go out, sketch, and then post the results on a Facebook page for that purpose. This Saturday was that day and I needed to do my part in the sketchcrawl, meet up with people at an event, get my daily walk in (2 hours) and them a few things at home.
I headed off to accomplish all those things, sketchbag at my side, feet pounding the pavement. And then it happened. I missed a golden opportunity to take a photo to show you. My only excuse was that I was caught up in the moment and also didn’t want to risk taking the photo. Why? What? Where? Ah, but this is a “who” story.
Those of us who are street sketchers are used to sketching in public. It’s what we do. We also try to convince others that it’s fun and that there is no risk of embarrassment or harassment. Nobody needed to tell a little girl I met any of that.
I came upon her, sitting next to the sidewalk, on 3rd Avenue. She was drawing the typical drawing of an 8-year old – parents, child, sun in the sky, and lots of sky – she was working on the sky with vigor. I stopped and told her how nice her drawing was and tried to engage her in some chit-chat. She was shy, as you might expect. She also had a small box sitting next to her that you might not expect. It was a box in which people who admired her work could drop a coin or three. How could I resist. I emptied my pocket into her box, repeated my praise for her sketch, and moved on. Oh how I wish I’d taken a picture.
Anyways, I continued my walk and realized that we’re in the middle of a heat wave, or rather a humidity wave. The temps are only 26-28C but the humidity his very high and I was melting as I plodded along. I mention this as my excuse for not sketching. I know it’s not a great excuse but it’s the best I’ve got.
I got to my event, which was a small block party in Limoilu and was thrilled to find that I could get a bottle of cold water from them for free. It was my lucky day. The reason I was there, though, was that the Bande Dessinee (comics/graphic novels for the French-challenged) Francophone de Quebec had their mobile library available and an outdoor reading room. It was being manned by a fellow sketcher, and superb artist, Andre Gagnon.
As we sat and talked I noticed a couple kids with big foam hats that looked like Pluto and Donald Duck. As they were reading you could only see the hat above the book and I couldn’t resist doing a quick-sketch of this young girl as she read. In some small way I hope it saves my honor in the sketchcrawl.