Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Newtown Fridays

I've re-instated the 'First Friday in Newtown' sketch date for our Joburg Sketchers group after it fizzled out rather apathetically last year. I admit to feeling a little apprehensive before these gatherings as we stick out like strange pale objects in the bustling, noisy, lively African space - even though we've only been ignored at worst (apart from one vendor once, upset at me drawing his stall) and joyfully welcomed at best. This time we had some new faces join the regulars - a few followers of our Facebook page and newsletter who at last took the plunge into the city, visiting sketcher Fiver from Brighton, and a whole fresh bunch of young men and women from a nearby architect's studio who made me feel optimistic about the future of urban sketching in Joburg, if they only keep on coming!

I started sketching the lovely Museum Africa building, sadly deteriorating again after a new lease of life a few years ago. Apparently it's down to its last curator who is leaving, or has left after trying gamely to keep the collection going and safe with no resources or help. The wooden heads which line the streets of Newtown are also showing signs of neglect and vandalism; a ragged Rasta man scratching in a bag of rubbish for scraps next to me who it felt too intrusive to draw...
But back to happier observations - a truck driver pulled up alongside and asked what I was doing... "But this is great!", other passers by stopped to look, chat and laugh with the sketchers, the young architect's group was enthusiastic and once again we're encouraged to do this again - once you're there, it's always, always worthwhile.


Cathy said...

I love the second sketch with the dark lines of the buildings, they look great!!! I love those lines and shapes!
Wish I could join you!!

Cathy Gatland said...

I wish so too Cathy - the group has grown butt still miss our founder members!