Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drawn to strangers

Photo by Jessilyn Carver

A side benefit of urban sketching is meeting total strangers who stop by to look and chat while you draw around your city. While sketching this old Victorian house, a man went by and asked me if I was "the guy from the newspaper," and then he gave me a thumbs up. I also talked to several Seattle City Light employees who were replacing an old electricity pole across the street. The next door neighbor also wondered what I was doing as she headed out the door with a friend on their way to lunch. "Do you go around drawing houses?"

I always enjoy the brief encounters. They are an opportunity to meet people as they go about their days. When do you ever get to do that? Sometimes the situation also yields a photo-op. In this case, I'm standing in between the person who restored the house and is the subject of my story, Greg Ahmann, and a visitor from California. Her friend Jessilyn inmortalized the occasion and later emailed the photo.

Strangers who care enough to talk to an urban sketcher always turn out to be the nicest people. That's been my experience so far.


  1. It's a great photo too!

  2. I absolutely agree with your comments about meeting strangers. And you managed to create a very ethereal picture for your ghost house!

  3. it is great to meet people while sketching - somehow the ice is much softer - people already have questions or comments to share with you :) I had a great encounter today with the owner of a pumpkin patch, got a couple of pumpkins as a present and sent him my sketch ;) He's been in the business for over 30 years and you should see how professionally he announces the next hayride!

  4. Great meeting you, thank you for sharing the photo I sent you. My daughter was taking violin lessons nearby while I took her best friend Tahnee sightseeing. She just arrived that day from L.A.
    BTW...if you are into musical theater, I will be playing Bloody Mary in South Pacific March in Kirkland, and April in Mt. Vernon