For those who wish to draw more

Iraqi woman in CJR November 23, 2006

Filed under: .Mark,Day 22,Drawing — markdm @ 3:21 pm
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Iraqi woman in CJR; click for larger version

11/22/06: Drawn from a photo in the Columbia Journalism Review. I’m fairly unhappy with this. As usual for me, while the expression (concern, a bit of alarm) is reasonably accurate, I’ve drawn someone who looks nothing like the person in the photo. It’s unlikely that I’ll subject you to any more faces this month.

So, not the world’s greatest drawing. But! Keep reading for an amazing story of sketching and serendipity.

Every so often, I check out some of the entries in the DrawMo sideblog. Last night I took a look at sketchcrawl. It’s just what it sounds like — every month or so, people from around the world hit the streeets and sketch. Pretty cool.

As it happened, a sketchcrawl took place while Dani and I were in Madrid, Spain, in September. Evidently only one guy participated in Madrid. You can see his report here. And here’s the part that blew my mind: The other thing you can see there is yours truly. That guy in the middle of the bottom row, in the drawing captioned “Yanki takes notes in a Moleskine”? That’s me, sketching in Madrid’s huge, beautiful Retiro Park. For something that appears to have been drawn in about five minutes, using just a few lines, it’s an amazing likeness, instantly recognizable. (Some browsers might have trouble seeing his drawing in the forum, so here is a link to the image itself.)

I’m certain that the “five old women from the USA” are the other members of our tour group who were at the park at that time. The sideways caption on the drawing says, “He’s with four older women making watercolors at the Alfonso XII memorial at Retiro,” which despite his numerological confusion describes exactly what was going on that day. One of those women is my wife, who is not old, but I’ll forgive him that. After all, she had her back to him the whole time and was farther from him than the rest of the group. Also, this made my day.

I’m going to e-mail him in a couple of minutes, and in case he finds my tale hard to believe, I’ll include a photo I took that day of a guy with a sketchbook, sitting just where you’d have to have been sitting to draw me from that angle. I hope he’s as pleasantly blown away as I was.

Oh, and my sketches? The subjects were a statue of a nekkid mermaid, and a guy lying on some steps with his head in his girlfriend’s lap. Here they are:

Retiro statue; click for larger version

Retiro couple; click for larger version


2 Responses to “Iraqi woman in CJR”

  1. enrique Says:

    Ja, ja. I´m the guy sketching at El Retiro. Great story. That´s one of the reasons why I love the net.
    BTW: did you realize a camera was stolen from another yanki couple about ten meters from you? Me and my girlfriend know this particular spot is a bit tricky so we took special care you were not stolen the watercolour kits.

    Happy serendipitys

  2. kim Says:

    I love this world! We are at once so big, so small, so connected and not. Thanks for the story Mark.

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