Corner of Sixth

Urban sketching really connects you to your surroundings in a way that studio painting does not. I haven’t been out in my car to paint for a while (extreme cold weather, lots of snow, holidays, etc.) but drawing this morning reminded of what I like best about being out there, even if it is from the confines of a vehicle. As I painted, it became clear that someone inside the convenience store was watching me. First I could see a silhouette in the window, then the door opened a crack and closed. This happened several times until the man ventured out to the stoop for a smoke. He tried not to stare at me but when I finally lifted up my sketch to show him, a connection was made. He smiled and crossed the street to see it. I guess Montreal is still a fairly safe place because I rolled down my window to talk to him, something that I might have been reluctant to do before I started sketching outdoors. We had a little chat about what I was doing, where else I had sketched, and he had a look through the book. Once his curiosity was satisfied it was pretty much as before — I finished my sketch and he chatted up the customers and smoked a few more cigarettes.


20 Comments on “Corner of Sixth”

  1. kathie says:

    gorgeous love your work and you use micron pen and what brand watercolors and colors do you use?


  2. Excellent details…..rough surface of old telephone pole, porous bricks, signs, new snow and old dirty sandy snow!


  3. Linda Daily says:

    I really like the colors and texture in this sketch. What I really like is your story. I have sketched alone in marginal areas of Portland and have only had positive experiences. So called “street people” were always curious and had kind comments.
    I am still trying to get that wonderful looseness in signage!


  4. Margaret McDermott says:

    Dear Shari, I have been delighting in your daily sketches for awhile and want to thank you for such inspiration and for such generosity in sharing. Your sketches have such appeal they are so direct and I enjoy your comments that go with them. Thank you again and happy sketching in 2014!


  5. Zoe says:

    Wonderful urban sketch. Adore that brick. What colour did you use to create it?

    And happy New Year.


  6. andre savard says:

    Beautifull sketch, love the snow detals on the foot steps and the brick work details.
    Would that be corner of 6th ave. and william Mcdonald in Lachine?
    Keep up the good work.
    I follow your sketches every day.
    You are an inspiration.


    • That is exactly the corner André! I guess you know Lachine well. I love every corner of that part of old Lachine.


      • andre savard says:

        Yes,I was born and still living in Lachine. I have painted and sketched some of the old buildings and streets. I have found some surprises along the way specially along the old canal area and near the Lachine museum and around McLaughling streeet.
        Thanks for your inspiration.
        Have a nice day.


  7. Werner Schreiner says:


    I look at your watercolours just about every day. I am just a beginner ( and will be for a long time, it seems ). What I find most inspiring is how you manage to leave light in your work, no matter what the subject or time of day.


  8. Veronica S. says:

    A wonderful painting … I’m impressed esp. with your ability to compose in such an abstract way. Of course I have saved this in my Blaukopf folder. Thanks for your generosity and inspiration.
    Happy New Year 2014!


  9. Lee Kline says:

    Your narrative of the experience is as lovely as your sketch, Shari. Thanks for letting folks know that getting out there is so rewarding.


  10. kari says:

    I love your loose application of color. What a lovely piece and a lovely story. I’m always struck by art’s magnetism and its power to build connection and community.


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