Friday Figures- Street Sketches Benefit Tornado Victims

Quick draw on the scene at Tornado Relief fundraiser on Monday; Oklahoma City folks lined up around the block for a taste (for a donation of $10) of celebrity chef Rick Bayless's delish street tacos. Watercolor over pencil, by the way.

Oklahoma City lunch hour crowd lines up around the block for a tasty taco lunch (with $10 donation) by celebrity chef Rick Bayless at his pop-up taqueria in Leadership Square. My sketch set up doesn’t always include tasty eats.

It was all very last minute (the phone call at 9:30, sketching in OKC by 11) but I was grateful to be part of the fundraiser for tornado relief last Monday. The twisters that devastated Moore and surrounding communities in May wrecked lives and homes and upended a town that had suffered through the same catastrophe only 14 years before.

For me, taking part in the event was more than a way to help tornado victims. It was a chance to give something back. I’d been there, too.

Quickdraw in Leadership Square, sketching the scene as fast as the fingers could fly. Watercolor over pencil on Arches hot press watercolor paper, 140 lb.

Quickdraw in Leadership Square, sketching the scene as fast as my fingers could fly. 11 1/2″ x 7 1/2″, watercolor over 6B pencil on Arches 140 lb. hot press paper

Rick Bayless, star of PBS’s Mexico: One Plate At A Time, popped up his kitchen under a tent in downtown OKC, running a fragrant cook-a-thon to support his home state in its hour of need. Besides the outdoor event he ran two pop-up restaurants that evening to raise money for the Tornado Relief Regional Food Bank. Both of those events sold out, at a hefty price. All proceeds went to the Relief Fund.

These two nice ladies asked me if I'd paint their portrait with Rick Bayless, who was busy in his cook tent whipping up tacos. They chatted while I sketched them and wondered how I would work the chef into the picture. A few minutes later, he stepped out from the behind the grill and did a TV interview right in front of my table. No kidding. Lucky me. And the ladies paid handsomely for the portrait- all for the cause. 11 1/2" x 7 1/2", watercolor over pencil on Arches hot press paper.

These two nice ladies asked if I would paint their portrait with Rick Bayless, who was busy in his chef’s tent whipping up goodies. While I sketched them they chatted, and I wondered how in the world I was going get the famous chef to pose for me, but just minutes later he left the grill and did a TV interview right in front of my table.  The ladies paid handsomely for their portrait- and it was all for the cause. 11 1/2″ x 7 1/2″, watercolor over pencil on Arches 140 lb. hot press paper.

It was a hot, windy day in OKC. Cilantro and roast chili scent wafted through the crowd, along with loose papers and hats. Folks waited in line while musicians played and artists painted. Artwork could be purchased outright or at auction later that evening. I went  to work sketching the street scene. Somebody set a plate of tacos in front of me, but before I could taste them, the table blew over (somebody kindly replaced them).

Rumble, the Oklahoma Thunder's mascot bison, explains fire ecology to an interested listener.

Rumble, the Oklahoma Thunder’s mascot bison, explains fire ecology to curious listeners.

As I said, it was a joy to take part in the fundraiser. My sketches may have even helped a bit: the morning’s watercolors raised $475 for tornado relief that evening at auction. I also want to give a shout-out to fellow artists-in-arms James Smith, a talented Crumb-inspired cartoonist who stayed calm when a strong gust blew his drawings halfway down the street (with dozens of people scrambling to collect them, maybe it was a publicity stunt) and singer-songwriter Carter Sampson, a fabulous Oklahoma songbird you want to check out.

And a big, grateful thank you to Rick Bayless for his time and talent, and his really, really good  tacos.

Happy Friday.

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About zeladoniac

Debby Kaspari travels the world with sketchbook and binoculars, drawing and painting in wild and not-so-wild landscapes. Norman, Oklahoma is her home base, and she lives there with her tropical ecologist husband and a mackerel tabby named Gizmo.
This entry was posted in Art, Artists, Drawing, figure drawing, Food, Oklahoma, painting, Sketching, Tornado, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Friday Figures- Street Sketches Benefit Tornado Victims

  1. KnitNell says:

    I enjoyed reading your Post and seeing the pictures. What an excellent day! Well done to all those wonderful people who gave their time and money.

  2. Great, Debby! Love your broad strokes and the serendipity of the whole day on your part. Bravo!

  3. Melissa says:

    Debby! Thanks so much for sharing and for bringing your time and talent to the day. Thank you!

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