Sketching in the city... and keeping warm!

The last few snow days have been blissfully relaxing. School has been closed, leaving plenty of time for things I usually try to squeeze into the cracks left in the day, like drawing, cooking, making jewelry, and socializing. One of the big highlights for me this week has been making time to draw daily. As with many things, sketching is better with a partner. Here in Istanbul, I am fortunate to have my friend Gabby, who is up for going drawing all the time. We locked in a virtual drawing marathon this week.

The first few days we ventured out into the city, first to Sultanhamet, where I was hoping to get a Muzekart. The snow was already starting to come down, bringing the first hopes of school closures, and the wind was biting, so we stopped in a cay shop to warm up and sketch. On the second day, we crossed the Bosphorus to Haydarpasa Gar to sketch this Istanbul institution. The third and fourth days, we stayed closer to home and sketched in Karabatak- a cozy cafe in the ever hipper neighborhood of Karakoy. Our friend Melody joined us on the third day as well and we had a nice little drawing club going.




What I've enjoyed most about sketching and what I like about sketching in general is that it slows things down and gives you the mind space and time to focus on one subject- a person, a space, a building, a street- for a while, soak it in, note its particular details, form, and light changes. When you focus on a subject for long enough, you fall in love with the curve of an eyebrow, a contrast of light and dark in the crease of a jacket, the puffs of steam from a teapot clouding a window like a miniature factory. You begin to notice the small details and the poetry they hold, like a man across the street with a red Waldo hat and enormous dark-rimmed glasses and bushy mustache pressing sandwiches behind a fogged window, snow cutting down at a sharp angle. These details fill your heart. Giving focused attention to the everyday wipes away the cobwebs of mundanity to get at the sheen underneath of the ever-interesting world we live in. Bringing sketching back into my life on a more regular basis has been a real gift and I hope to maintain the momentum in 2015!

Karabatak cafe in Karakoy

Karabatak cafe in Karakoy

Karabatak care in Karakoy

Karabatak care in Karakoy

Haydarpasa Gar

Gabby, in a cafe by the Spice Bazaar

Popular Posts