Yesterday our sketching group “garabateando.com” moved to La Placita de Santurce. La Placita creates an interesting dynamic that has become one of the top meeting and entertainment spots in the metro area. Here is the refurbished building of La Plaza del Mercado, an early 20th century marketplace, and its small square or “placita”. Plenty of small bars and restaurants surround the square, so it is definitely one of the places to visit if you come to Puerto Rico. By the way, the placita has a sculpture of four 4-ft-tall avocados, so it is sometimes referred as La placita de los aguacates.
I got there a little early with my family; I got one good black coffee and a “small” mixed fruit smoothie. Good that I asked for the small one, which they serve in two 10 oz cups and they let you whatever is left in the blender vase (like 5 oz more)… all for $2.
The day was cloudy, and the rain seemed inminent, so we setup indoors to sketch inside the marketplace. However, it never rained, we moved outdoors and sketchers started to arrive.
I hadn’t noticed that there is an artist that is regularly set up, selling his paintings and he came by, probably checking what we intruders were up to. I thought he’d get mad as if we were trying to steal his thunder, but instead he was very nice, even encouraging us to sell our stuff. His name is Ero Kaball, which now that I write it is a word play of “caballero”, or gentleman. Good guy, I hope he does alright.
We had a fun afternoon, a few whiskeys with coconut water (superb!), some great company and lots of sketching. We’d like to welcome newcomers Amarilis, Lori and Lyann. Prof. Manuel García Fonteboa attended officially for the first time as well, although we’ve been sketching together for years now… but he’s equally welcome. We’d be adding some photos to garabateando.com. Here are some of my sketches:
I’m a week late on posting this, so I better get going. Last Saturday we had our 2nd official Garabateando.com event at the Puerta de San Juan in Old San Juan. It was nice that my father-in-law spent a little time with us, but it was really a nice surprise that he sketched a little. That is what we’re all about, that people at least do a couple of scribbles with us, so it meant a lot to us that he did. We were there for almost two hours, and we tried to get to sketch at the cemetery (it is really very nice, dating from mid 19th century). However, the heat was exhausting, so instead we took a break to get a burger at “El Patio de Sam” (really nice restaurant located at San Sebastián Street). Then we did an encore sketch at the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. It was like the good old times with some excellent friends.
Although it is not the same as sketching on location I find amusing the idea of the virtual paintouts. I am trying a new set of Yarka watercolors, so the virtual location was better than nothing. I first washed in w/c and then sketched over it with the bleeding Papermate flair. Then retouched a bit with the waterbrush. I really like the results I get doing the line drawing after the color; I’ll be trying that next time out.
Yesterday we held our first official event of our sketching group Garabateando.com in Ponce, PR. This weekend we were in Ponce, PR because the annual architects’ convention was held there. So early in the morning we went to the convention. My wife and I both had polo shirts embroidered with our logo, which drew some interest among our friends and several of the exhibitors. They said the idea seemed fun, so we expect some of them to join us in future dates. We had lunch and then went to the sketching site.
We brought with us a few extra pencils and pads to share if anyone was interested to join us. A few bystanders asked about what we were doing but none dared to pick up a pencil. I hope that when we have a larger group we can convince some of them to sketch with us.
I sketched with ink and watercolors on one of those pads-to-share. I liked that those pads feel so informal that you easily get into the I-don’t-care-about-the-result mentality, and sketches are fast, simple, loose and very spontaneous. Here are some of my sketches:
We stayed at the Hotel Meliá one more night to attend the rest of the convention’s activities. This morning we sketched a bit more:
After we checked out, we had lunch at a fantastic restaurant called Archipiélago, at the rooftop of the building in front of the hotel. Superb food, great service and a spectacular view. I sketched this while waiting for our lunch:
It was a fantastic and a very entertaining weekend. We’ll do our best to keep it up, while our sketching group grows. Next week we’ll be “garabateando” at Old San Juan, at the Puerta de San Juan, 2pm.
My wife and I have just started a sketching group named garabateando.com. Garabateando (Spanish for doodling) targets not only art enthusiasts, but everyone else who hasn’t picked up a pencil since childhood. We believe it is a great and fun activity that non-artists are missing. We want to promote sketching as a form of entertainment and as a way to meet new people and places. We will be meeting every Saturday at 2pm at different places around Puerto Rico. We will mainly be in the metro area, but we would like to at least once a month go a bit farther to other municipalities.
The best part of it is that it is free, so there isn’t an excuse to take a pad and pencil to join us. There are more details on our webpage, as well as the calendar of events we’ll be having.