I started seriously drawing in cafes or coffee shops in 1990.
I finally got into the habit of having a sketchbook with me at all times, not just most of the time, once I had a car!
And I had a teacher at MCAD who said the best way to draw the figure confidently was to draw “in situ“, constantly.
Good advice! Seriously, look at the foot of that little girl.
I drew everywhere I went.
And as a person in early sobriety, it was the perfect way to be comfortable in social situations.
The Day by Day Cafe!
Such a part of sober life in St. Paul back then. And even now, I think? Also, as indicated in this drawing, a total cruising spot for me and all my gay friends 🙂
I lived near Dunn Bros, worked at Dunn Bros, hung out at Dunn Bros.
The coffee was incredible. This is from 1991.
This homage to Degas is one of my favorite cafe drawings ever.
Dunn Bros, 1990.
There were other sober hangouts, like the Music City Cafe.
This is my friend Denise and her daughter Zora there, 1994. Children have never been my specialty!
I also did a whole series of drawings of musicians in cafes during this time, like this one at Music City Cafe.
You can see some more of them here on flickr, in my Musicians album. Later coffee shop drawings are here.
Most of these drawings had never been scanned or uploaded; until now, no online record of them existed – if we had a fire or flood they would just be gone forever.
I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to take time to document my art archives.