Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Los Mercados de Mexico

Sometimes when I want to sketch a lively scene I head to the markets, the hub of every Mexican city. It can be overwhelming to try to capture the bustle of people, colors, and chaos of the marketplace, so sometimes I focus in on details and vignettes. Here are a few samples from the past several years.

This market stall in Pátzcuaro sell everything from mops to garlic

A flower seller at the indoor market in San Miguel de Allende

You can find anything you want at the Tuesday "Tianguis" market in San Miguel

Fresh fish at the Tuesday market in San Miguel

The view from my lunch at the San Juan de Dios market in San Miguel

Scraping the spines from the prickly pear (Nopal) is a common scene in any Mexican market

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Living the Sketchy Life in Mexico

Recently the Mexico Daily News featured an article on my urban sketching adventures in Mexico.  Although I don't entirely agree with many of the ways the writer interpreted my ideas on urban sketching it was nice to get a bit of publicity. Here are a few out takes:
Artist and teacher Susan Dorf has been drawing daily life in Mexico for a decade....For Dorf, sketching is a way to both be part of the action of a scene and yet keep a kind of journalist’s distance, allowing sketchers to be both participant and archivist. And if you think that after years of teaching and creating, sketching would lose this transformative force, Dorf insists that the experience is always fresh, no matter what the scene. And here is link to the article.


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Vistas de San Miguel Book Flip Through

Here is a flip through of my bilingual book, Vistas de San Miguel, a Sketchbook.
10 years of sketching places and events in the streets of San Miguel de Allende,
now available on amazon.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Artesanos de Michoacán

Michoacán is well know for its master artisans. 

Here are a few sketches of some of the ones I have visited over the past few years.

Jaime Horta from Tocuaro carves delightful animals from wood and the reeds of lake Patzcuaro.

Felipe Horta is a master award winning mask carver from Tocuaro

At Taller Ahuanda in Santa Fe de la Laguna Nicolas Fabián and his wife Rosario
produce beautiful hand carved ceramics

Juan Valencia Villalobos produces intricately carved Maque
on wood and gourds painted with hand made pigments

The village of Ihuatzio is famous for baskets, animals, and furniture
made from the local reeds called Chuspata.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sketching the Pandemic

               Some Sketches from the past few years during Covid-19 Pandemic


Ice Cream Break

Lining up for Las Vacunas

Social Distancing at the Mercado

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Tree Removal Protests in San Miguel

Sketches from the passionate protests against the removal of 41 trees from Avenida Guadalupe
in San Miguel de Allende by the local municipal government.

Many children actively participating in the protest

The crowd urging the driver to step down.

Trees being lifted out of the ground

Machinery, police and protesters at a temporary standstill

People have been told the 22 year old trees will be transplanted, but no one believes it


Today I went to say goodbye to the trees.
There were only a few left standing, adorned with ribbons and signs.
It was strange not to see anyone else there.
No protesters, no children.

Only the police and the workers with their machines,

and the people in the market passing by.
Hoy fui a despedirme de los árboles.
Solo quedaban unos pocos en pie, adornados con cintas y letreros.
Era extraño no ver a nadie más allí.
Sin manifestantes, sin niños.
Solo la policia y los trabajadores con sus maquinas
y la gente del mercado pasando.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Art of Conversation

I love sketching people, and especially enjoy capturing the interactions between people in conversation. For one thing, they are usually holding still, and there is also the challenge of capturing the nuances of body language and gesture. The tilt of a head or position of the hands can often say more than words about the relationships between people.

Nothing like meeting up with a good friend at a local café in San Miguel and catch up over drinks.

At the beach in Oaxaca these hipsters were conversing long and hard about deep and meaningful topics. 

Our local urban sketching group meeting up at a rooftop restaurant to sketch and chat.

At the bus station this couple argue over maps and schedules while the daughter looks on.

This couple sat down across from me at a coffeehouse.  They don’t seem to be conversing, but the woman is actually issuing a loud running commentary on the news she is reading from her phone. The husband is obviously used to tuning her out. I think my dislike for them came out in the way I sketched them.