Enjoying Sketching

The warm and balmy scenes are replaced with cold winds and snow. To sketch in a warm place is a special treat this winter.

Linda Denis, Old Stable on beach, watercolour on Arches, 2014

Linda Denis, Old Stable on beach, watercolour on Arches, 2014

Where to sketch, when you are a tourist? Where ever food is sold or served there is a sketch. On the street of this small Mexican town many eatery have fire pits, piled high with potatoes, sautéed vegetables and a variety of sausage and ground meat. Here we order the papas, one with meat the other vegetables. When it arrives, my friend beside me says it is pâté chinois but just in reversed order. The mashed potatoes on the bottom and dressing on top, his with a big strip of bacon and mine with piles of shredded cheese. Then the conversation starts at the table about what their mother or grandmother put in their pâté chinois. The 2 for one margarita arrives in a plastic cup. We all shut up and eat.


Linda Denis, Salvador’s, watercolour on Arches, 2014


Linda Denis, Mission, watercolour in Venezia Book, 2014

Local architecture sketching is another happening place. You try and figure out the turrets and domes, the beautiful iron tracery and what colour the workmen will finally paint the place.

Fish Market

Linda Denis, Fish Market, watercolour in Venezia book, 2014

The fish market starts every morning on the beach around 6:30 am. A few boats are pulled up with a variety of fish, nearby a juice stand sells freshly pressed orange juice, another guy shouts bolillo[bo-leel’-lyo]. Lots of action but when there is a quiet time, one of the vendors comes over and has a good laugh.  He writes dibujos in my sketch book. Sketching is fun, you learn about the architecture, food, why the water fountain in the park has no water and the benches are all broken and what is happening with the local economy. You feel accepted and safe.


  1. yes on the beach is fun. Even better is picking the shrimp for supper on the BBQ from the boat.

    1. Ruth, thank you. I know you and Ken like the hunt of finding only shrimp with tails on. Never knew these ones are the best choice.

  2. I agree with you, Linda. When you sketch, you’re more integrated to the environment and the impression remains vivid for a long time. No need to take pictures, but it’s a luxury to sketch, if you are short on time when travelling!

  3. As we were riding in the taxi talking about the “papas” restaurant, the memories of “pate chinois” came to us. My mother made a very simple version using left over pork roast that she grinded in her meat grinder. She then topped it with leftover mashed potatoes and a layer of creamed corn. As simple as this was, we loved it – especially with a lot of ketchup on it.

    1. Thanks Babette, I appreciate you sharing memories of childhood food. My grandmother called it Shepard’s Pie and the ingredients were very similar.Lots of ketchup and made with love and not much it the cupboard.

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