Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bike & Sketch

I'm still here, but I've been quiet. Need to work on that. I had a great day Tuesday! Decided to pull a vacation day and have a biking and sketching day through urban Topeka. The Fall colors are just too nice to be ignored. This required riding a rural rail-to-trail into town, and then catching an urban trail to see the sites. This was so much fun I could die. The day was peaceful, the Autumn air could be tasted, and had plenty of coffee breaks. Does it get any better? Oh yeah, sketching, too. I need to kick myself back into the habit.

I carried by gear in a sling (shoulder) bag slung behind me as I rode, and it worked fine. Maybe I could be confused with a young fit urban messenger cyclist? Or not (I have graying in the temples, for those of you who don't know me). This was my test ride for sketching/cycling (thumbs up). The pen sketching and watercolor pencil work I did on-site. Then, over coffee at World Cup, I started the text, which I finish at home.

One memorable moment: I sketched the Monroe School, which was the site of the Brown vs. Board of Education case. The National Parks has restored the building and created great displays inside. Anyway, before I went in I sat down on the sidewalk across the street near my bike to sketch the front of the building. No traffic. No people. I'm in my own zone when a class of high school age kids rush out to leave the building, chattering up a storm. I feel really out of place, but I just pretend I'm a spaced out artist at work and it worked! Nobody laughed at the middle-aged old fart sitting/sketching on the sidewalk. Guess I passed as an artist? My daughter would have died from embarrassment.


  1. Great test drive for your biking & sketching! Your two-page spread is really interesting. I'd love to see more of your excursions recorded like this.

    I bike around town a lot--grocery shopping and to spots I want to sketch. I carry my stuff in panniers over the back wheels. It is an unusual sight seeing someone sitting on the curb hunched over, sketching in my town, too. One friend commented that I was probably being mistaken for a bag lady (I'm beyond middle age!). Oh, well.......if people want to figure out what THAT WOMAN is doing, they can come and look over my shoulder and ask. I've only had delightful exchanges with people who do.

    BTW, would you mind putting the locale of your sketch in the tag line, too?

  2. John, it's great to see your posting, AND to see you at sketchcrawl yesterday! Always a pleasure.


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