Here are some of my sketches from the Sketch Crawl in downtown Bryan yesterday. There was a lot going on that I would have liked to have seen during the Texas Reds Festival, but the heat just got to be too much.
It took us forever, it seemed, to get to the Frame Gallery because of the streets being blocked off. More than had been planned, we learned. We ended up with my daughter dropping me off and I had to carry my chair, art supplies, and purse to the gallery.
Pat met me at the Frame Gallery after 9 a.m. After a little visit with Pat, Greta, the owner, and Sarah, her beautiful dog, we decided to venture on toward the LaSalle Hotel, where we hoped that others interested in sketching might meet us.
Walking a couple of blocks doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but you must understand that Pat has trouble walking, and I need a new pair of knees, and can't see worth a hoot from a distance due to wet Macular Degeneration and cataracts.
We put my things in her car, which she had parked before the baricades went up, and drove, as we had been directed, thinking we would find close by handicapped parking. We were told that a shuttle or tram would pick us up and take us to where we needed to go.
Since every street had barricades, we drove around the west, south, and finally on the east side of town, we found one volunteer who would move the barricade and showed us where handicapped parking was supposed to be. We found it at the BTU building, and walked to the street to wait for a shuttle. We saw people who were walking with someone in their party who had an electric cart or chair to ride around in. We asked a volunteer about the tram, since it was getting hot even under the shade of a small tree. They had not seen one all morning and didn't think there was a tram. They explained that parking was across town at Blinn college, and buses could be ridden to the festival. That wouldn't have helped us.
Beside the BTU building, a fire truck was parked and a first aid tent was set up. They had golf carts to ride in with their medical supplies. The volunteer asked the EMTs to take us to the LaSalle Hotel in one of their carts. So Pat rode on the back seat, and I rode up front with a very nice young EMT. They explained that, when we got ready to leave, we could ask a volunteer to call them and they would come back and pick us up. They took us to the LaSalle courtyard and we found the coffee shop.,Pat could get her coffee and we could cool off, while looking for other crawlers. We didn't see anyone else who looked like they might be ready to sketch, and, by that time, we were just ready to sit somewhere and cool off!
We sat by a big window of the lovely restored hotel. Outside the window was a long tent with various food items. Behind the hotel, there was smoke from the grills for the cook off. Further down the sidewalk at the Palace Theatre, a stage was set up and there was music playing. Directly across the street at the Carnegie Library, a stage had been set up with bales of hay for seats. The big grape stomp would take place there later.
We took a few photos with Pat's camera. When those come back, I'll post some to show where we were for the crawl.
I did a sketch of the street where we finally got through the barricade and called it "You Can't Get There From Here". I also sketched the area by the door, across from me, in the hotel. By this time, it was already 11:30.
We walked over to the Carnegie to see the George Bush engine, 4141, that was parked on the tracks between the Carnegie and the Bryan city library. There is a shaded area with a little garden between the Masonic Lodge, with a barber shop downstairs, and the Carnegie Library. Concrete seats and low walls provide a nice place to sit among shrubs and pink and white Crepe Myrtles. I thought that this would be a nice place to work, so we picked out a bench with a good view of the engine and the Library and the Childrens Museum, the old City Hall. All kinds of activities were going on in the area of the library and the museum with a rock climbing wall, something to do with bungee cords, etc. Inside the library, there were programs like the chemistry road show. And we could hear music from performers in that area, too.
I pulled out my sketching things and started to draw 4141 among the Crepe Myrtles while Pat decided to take pictures. The heat was bothering her a lot. Roaming mascots like the HEB bag of groceries and a baseball, the mascot for our new baseball team, the Bombers, stopped to have their pictures taken. A very nice young police officer stopped to see what we were doing. I explained about the sketch crawl and gave him information to pass on. As he left, he shook our hands. We all laughed as he said that we had now shaken hands with Buck Rogers. Sure enough, his name was B. Rogers. I wonder if he got teased about that, or if people expected superhero level things of him, when he was growing up.
Pat took a couple of pictures of the back of the library, with a blossom of Crepe Myrtle hanging down, the train, the mascots, etc. I got enough of the train drawn as a sketch so that I can do more with it later. And we agreed that we needed to go somewhere and cool off. I wasn't sure about a restaurant where we could sit down and draw and cool off. I'm sure there was something, but, with my blurry vision, I couldn't find a sign, and, too, the tents in the middle of the street were blocking my view.
We went back to the LaSalle coffee shop and asked a volunteer to call the Fire Department to take us back to the car. They did and the Fire chief arrived in his little golf cart. A young woman was also there with one of those gator things, a golf cart with a pickup bed on the back. Pat rode with the chief since his vehicle had a top and more shade, and I rode with the very nice young woman. There was some discussion between the hotel people and the city people about who was supposed to be providing tram or shuttle service between the handicapped parking and the festival.
We got back to a very hot car, and thought of where we might go. I told Pat to just head down Texas Avenue, and we should see a sign of some place. Whataburger seemed close and had a big sign, so that is where we stopped. We told them that they were lifesavers! Pat had lemonade and I had a sprite. But, what I really wanted to do was to sketch some more.
So, I sketched Buck Rogers, since that was a fun memory. And the cup with the wonderful cold drink!
We decided to go home, and, I thought that I might go out and sketch some around where I live, after it cooled off, later. Pat brought me home and I decided to just sit in the cool and scan my drawings and darken them a bit. You can tell something about our day from my sketches. The scan of 4141 didn't work out so well, though. The paper was too big for the scanner. I guess it let light in, or something. As a result, it has a green tinge on one side of the paper.
It never did get cool, though. When it got dark, it was still 94. I learned on the news that it reached 99, which, of course, gave us a heat index of over 100. Pretty hot, but, as long as there was shade and a little breeze, and something cold to drink, I was okay with it.
I looked at some of the posts on Sketch Crawl http://www.sketchcrawl.com/ as people have been posting their results. When I last checked, there were posts from 12 different countries and 16 states in the U.S. There is some very nice work, much of it much more finished than mine.
I estimate that I must have spent maybe an hour or so actually drawing, but I did get some things down that I could do more from later. It was all pretty quickly and loosely done.
Sweden had some nice work and photos, and it seemed like a great place to be that day. It was cool there!
Barbara sent word that she, Lynn, and Virginia Vaughan were among those doing art during the Sketch Crawl. Virginia did a workshop in Rockport on that day, so they painted the Cove, and trees, the sunrise, etc. You can read her comment under my last post.
I haven't heard if anyone else in this area was doing the sketch crawl.
If you want to be involved in the next one, you can go to the Sketch Crawl website and get more information, register for your area, if you want to. If you are in this area and want to participate, that will be great. We can work as a group, or you can work on your own, start your own group, or whatever you want to do.
I just think that there are an awful lot of things out there that need to be recorded through art.
I sent out information to area newspapers, and Greta was on "Brazos Arts" on KAMUfm, talking about it. I only saw it used in a couple of calendars. And, just try to send anything to the local paper or tv station by e-mail. Doesn't seem to work very well. Boxes are full, e-mails bounce, or there are no sections online where things I am interested in can be found. Online is best for me, these days, since I can't drive, and gas and things like stamps have gone up so much. I guess that I should have just mailed out press releases.
Maybe next time.
The next sketch crawl should be in 2 or 3 months. That would make it August or September.
I would love to hear if you participated in the Sketch Crawl where ever you are! And, if you are in a surrounding area, I would be thrilled if you would start a group in your town or city, to help Draw the Brazos Valley.
To do the sketches above, I used pencil, on the train engine, on watercolor paper. The others were all done on sketching paper using a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen, superfine. I really like the way that pen works, and it is a permanent india ink pen. They come in a variety of sizes.