I was delighted to receive an email from fellow Urban Sketcher PeF, who was flying into Istanbul from Lisbon with three of his talented sketcherfriends: Pedro, Cláudia and Cate. The five of us spent a drizzly, warm evening behind the Aya Sofya, swapping sketchbooks over çay and chatting about art, the cities we love and just about anything that came to mind. We walked down to Eminönü to feast on fish sandwiches in the dark, and decided to see how much sketching we could accomplish on the Galata Bridge between rain bursts.
I managed to scrawl out this very messy sketch of a couple of the bridge's ever-present fishermen before the rain started to fall. We packed up up our books and pens and darted off to the funicular towards Tünel, in search of a café to carry on with our conversations and drawing.
I'm so grateful to Urban Sketchers for connecting me with such wonderful people— people full of life and warmth, people who I have this sketching addiction in common with. In a few weeks time, two Urban Sketchers who became dear friends of mine, Lapin and Javier, are coming to visit. I can't wait to go drawing with them— I deeply admire their skill, talent and commitment to their art. You may remember Lapin from my Barcelona adventure, whose generosity gave me a sofa to sleep on, delicious food in my belly (whipped up by his charming wife Lapinette), and six days of wonderful conversation and quiet sketching. I met Javier last March, when he came to Istanbul with 50 Spanish designers and artists to sketch and tour the city. Javier is one of those people with whom you find hours just melting away in conversation and laughter— a kind soul with mad talent.
If you haven't yet heard of Urban Sketchers, I highly suggest you visit our site when you've got a few hours you want to fill with stunning and inspiring artwork. We're a non-profit organisation of location sketchers with a mission to "show the world, one drawing at a time." Visit us at www.urbansketchers.org.