Jerusalem Lemonade and Lentil Soup, ink & watercolor

Jerusalem Lemonade and Lentil Soup, ink & watercolor

Last Tuesday night we met at Zaki’s Kabob House in Albany for some delicious Mediterranean food and sketching. It was a cold rainy night but the restaurant was busy. Sonia had called ahead to confirm it would be OK for us to spend the evening there sketching. We were further encouraged by the bumper sticker on the door that said “Make Art Not War.”

Condiments & Empty Bread Basket

Condiments & Empty Bread Basket

If you wonder why this sketch has a note saying “Paste Menu Here,” it’s because when I said I’d ruined the composition (pre-watercolor) by adding that glass on the right, Cathy said, “Just paste a piece of the menu over that spot.” I solved the problem by just not painting the glass and leaving the note instead.

Sonia and I painted at the table but Cathy didn’t like the dim restaurant lighting for painting so made many more sketches instead. I was happy that my colors turned out well despite not quite being able to see them while  working.

Diners at Zakis

Diners at Zakis

Usually when we’re sketching in cafes we are unable to avoid eavesdropping on nearby conversations, always a source of amusement or amazement at what people say in public. But shortly after we sat down, Ellen, a member of our plein air painting group, arrived to join her realtor for dinner at the next table. After some introductions, and passing around of sketchbooks (including an invitation by the realtor to show them in their office “gallery” which we declined), we returned to sketching while they dined and chatted.

It was odd eavesdropping on someone we knew. Cathy appreciated it though, since they were talking about sofabed shopping, and Cathy is in the market for one too.

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Category:
Albany, Food sketch, Glass, Ink and watercolor wash, Life in general, Painting, People, Sketchbook Pages, Still Life
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Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. I love to eavesdrop on people while I am eating. If they are talking loudly to begin with I figure I am not “violating” any ethical constraints. I usually bring a book with me to read but end up listening and looking, making up little stories as I watch people:):)

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    • I do that too–make up little stories about people I see all the time. It’s fascinating to try to imagine what their lives are like. I’ve always wished there was a job that allowed you to just go into people’s homes and look around and find out about them. Jana

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  2. Hi Jana: Great sketches, and as a bonus, some of the things you sketched are also in the photos on their web site. I saw the green drink, and the red condiment pot in the photos. Looks like a fun place!

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    • That’s funny. I hadn’t even noticed that on their website. It’s an interesting place, with every inch of the walls covered with stuff (art, utensils, strings of plastic lemons, etc.). It was a former fast food joint I think, and before these owners bought it, had been one failure after another but now it seems like a big success. Jana

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  3. NICE work. Our sketchcrawls in San Diego, we eat AFTER we draw. This looks like a harder combination of waiting, drawing, and finally eating.
    Your colors are luscious.

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    • We usually do try to draw each dish before we eat it, but that night we were too hungry so after the cup of soup and lemonade were sketched we just chowed down without waiting to draw the other dishes (which weren’t all that attractive anyway, though delicious). Jana

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  4. How often do you meet with your group? I have really got to get out there and find someone else that likes to draw! I am missing out on so much. These are great sketches; I just love the colors!

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    • We meet nearly every Tuesday evening. I’m lucky to have fellow dedicated sketchers to go out with. Cathy and I both belong to a plein air group, which was where we met, and Sonia and other occasional sketchers met via my blog. Martha used to join us and she and I met via our blogs and the International Sketchcrawl group. Do you know about Meetup.com? I’ve heard of several people who’ve found plein air groups (and I added another) via that website. Jana

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  5. At least this time the bumper sticker didnt’ say anything weird when you looked at it! LOL

    I love the idea of a sketching group. Great idea. Just out of curiosity, why did you decline the realtor’s offer to show them in the office gallery? Was it because your sketchbooks are too personal and not for public viewing? Or necessary to use for paintings later on? Or maybe both.

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    • Hi Krista, Good question. We declined for several reasons. First it’s pretty hard to display sketchbooks in a setting designed to hang art on walls and we wouldn’t want them to be just set out to be handled by random people where they could be damaged. And some pages have personal notes or reference material such as color tests.

      I asked the realtor if they sell much art from their shows and she said no, so I figured even if we scanned pages and hung them it would be a waste of time (and money if we had to frame stuff). I know many people who like to get their work out there, even if it’s on the walls of offices, but I guess I don’t care so much about that. It’s always an honor to be invited to show, regardless of the venue, but I know how much work it is to prepare for a show too (and expensive when you have to frame things).

      Jana

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