Monday, March 19, 2018

Down on the Corner, Out in the Street

 Nothing like a visit from an ardent urban sketching friend to bump you out of your ennui and out into the streets. For various reasons I was in a bit of a sketching slump, but when Jane, my friend of 50 years (we were neighbours at 11/12 years old - does anyone remember the song in the title? It's about the same vintage as this friendship), who has fairly recently taken up urban sketching with a passion, arrived from Cape Town and declared her intentions earlier this year, I dusted off my sketchbook and filled my pens.

Our first date was in Sandton, where buildings are going up almost overnight it seems. We found a restaurant with a view of cranes and builders at work across the road. (I drove past a few weeks later and it was all finished, clad and functioning!) Jane likes to draw cranes, I like to draw people, so we had something of each with this interior/exterior view. Just as well we were inside as first there was blazing heat, and then later a mighty thunderstorm outside.

On another hot Wednesday morning, we found a spot under a shady plane tree in pretty Parkview. As we sat peacefully figuring out perspective and how to cope with the cars parking in front of us, I remembered again what is so appealing to me about this pastime... getting out from behind your four walls and insulated life, experiencing the weather, the sights and smells, (the bugs falling from the trees!) and especially the delightful exchanges with passers by and fellow pavement roamers - the car guard, the businessman after his breakfast with laptop, the street artist selling his canvases on the opposite corner, the waiter who thoughtfully offered to bring us refreshments from his restaurant, even the quizzical mystified looks, and shouted comments from a car at the unusual sight of us sitting on the sidewalk. Yes, maybe we are crazy!

[After this was the trip to Soweto, described in the previous post - I'm so behind with blogging, I'm just posting whatever occurs to me - I blame it on Instagram which is too quick and easy with a phone and its camera, and makes me think it's all been done!]


MiataGrrl said...

I DO know which song the title came from! I was humming it as I read the beginning of your post! (Yikes, was it that long ago? I have a couple of friends from that era, too!) I always love your sketches and stories!

- Tina

Cathy Gatland said...

I think it's not quite that long ago Tina - think we were actually about 14/15 when that came out. One of our big songs at 11/12 was Georgie Girl! Thank you for your visit!

Sadami said...

Oh, Cathy, I love that song! Your post and sketches are lovely. Just have fun. Btw you're more advanced than me, a stone aged woman -- I'm quite slow to cope with technology. Cheers, Sadami

dinahmow said...

CCR! And great sketches to accompany it.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Sadami - I'm stone age too, but the newer apps, when you adopt them, are much less work than scanning, writing and posting - make me very lazy!

Thank you Dinah - yay CCR! :D

RH Carpenter said...

Yes I was humming the song, too, as I started the post :). I love the sketches, especially the detail (so much to see) in the second one - those round glass balls were a wonderful surprise :). It’s always fun to go somewhere with a friend and do things, get our of your rut, etc. Hope you thoroughly enjoyed your visit with her.