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Now that I have all this luxurious time to paint, draw or anything else I want to do, I went sketching this morning around my town, Cicero, IL. Cicero is a blue collar, mostly Hispanic area, very quaint with lots of older folks. As I walked around looking for a spot, I saw a tattered American flag lawn chair in front of a run down clapboard house. That seemed a good subject. There was a shady spot kitty corner to the scene and so I sat in the grass and got to work with my Copic markers on a Render Strathmore sketchbook. After a little while, an old couple came out of the house I was sketching and sat on the steps. They were looking straight at me and sitting very still. The man seemed posed, sitting for a long time with his arm on a folding chair staring at me, so I added them to the scene. Pretty soon they went inside and didn’t come out again.

A Spanish lady walked over and we tried to converse, but alas, she only spoke Spanish and I only English. She looked at my sketch and talked to me in Spanish, which I mostly didn’t understand. As we talked in broken Spanish and broken English, I found out that the house was not her house and that she was out for some exercise. I thanked her for stopping.

This is a new experience for me. I have sketched on my own exactly three times so far, and nobody-except for a deranged person once, and a church lady the other time, ever come over and talk. I want to be that person though, that wanders around and comes back with sketches and stories to tell. And it feels good to talk to people who normally wouldn’t have a reason to talk to me.

Anyway, when I was done with the sketch, being the friendly and naïve sort of person that I am, I walked over to see where the homes owners were. Maybe they wanted to see what I did since they saw me sketching. On approach, I saw them in the backyard and when the old woman saw me she turned away. I walked down the driveway with my open sketchbook in hand and then the man poked his head out from under the hood of an old pick-up truck. I said, “Would you like to see the sketch of your house? Su casa?” He looked at it, looked at me, seemed confused, then nodded and said, “esta aqui”, pointing at the ground, then shrugged his shoulders as if to say “so what”. Then he made slicing motion with his arm and shook his head. It all became clear at that moment, “Oh, ok gracias”, I said, walking away. Just goes to show you, not everyone is in love with this sketching thing. I realized they weren’t posing or interested at all except for the fact that I was looking at their house. I think I made them nervous. Oh well, sorry folks!