Last Saturday was the day of the 23rd Worldwide Sketchcrawl, so I took the early train down to San Francisco. The main group was meeting up at the Presidio, but I didn’t fancy going all the way up there; I was yearning for some ‘urban’ to sketch. I started off visiting the excellent Paul Madonna exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library, the five year retrospective of his All Over Coffee strip, which I’ve followed for almost two years now (I came across it while on the Sketchcrawl in Berkeley, and was drawn to because it was a similar style to what I was trying to achieve; it inspired me to do more monochrome stuff). I was surprised, though I don’t know why, at how large the originals were, but that’s only because I tend to draw everything so damn small. Suitably inspired to get out and draw, I sat outside the library and sketched the San Francisco City Hall. The Tenderloin army shuffled by in groups of one, like characters from a Miyazaki film, lost in their own little odour-filled universes. Somewhere across the square was a rabble led by a very vocal Mexican man screaming, literally screaming, into a microphone, to the point where his voice started to fail him, and the microphone started to break. It clearly didn’t stay broken though because he launched into song, backed by a Latin American dance music band, playing a repetitive one-verse, I don’t know, anthem I suppose, which went on and on and on for about six months. My thoughts weren’t with the guy singing, but with the band members, particularly the guitarists. Their wrists must have been super tired. I was wondering whether they took shifts, if perhaps another person came and took over halfway through the song, to give them a break. For all I knew it was a tape loop. When I was done (and I was really pleased with the resulting sketch, by the way), I hopped onto the BART and went down to the Mission. I fancied a burrito.
Above: sketches from the Amtrak train on the way down. It is now obligatory for me to do these sketches whenever I go down to the Bay Area.
More sketchcrawled sketches to come!!!