Today I drew plein air! It was the PERFECT Alaska summer day. Warm, blue skies, puffy clouds, dragonflies soaring, tourists strolling, dogs walking, skateboarders whizzing, and… hot dog carts flaming, sizzling, and sending up puffs of smoke. I was magnetized by the one in front of the federal building at 4h and G. As I drew, I smelled mustard and onions frying. I wondered if they would have tofu pups or salmon dogs. No, but they did have chicken hot dogs, so after I was finished drawing, I downed one, dripping with mustard and saurkraut.
I sat on the edge of the long planter in front of the Federal Building, feet in the planter, behind the bushes, but with a good view of the hot dog cart. I drew the scene to the tune of chattering magpies and singing chickadees playing in the shrubs closeby. The smell of frying onions and mustard provided aromatherapy.
The hardest part was drawing the vendor, who was in constant motion. She was such a lovely lady, and she laughed with good humor to see how she had turned out– not at all as beautiful as she really was.
The end effect on me was to be in a state of open-eyed meditation. I was calm, at peace, and aware of each breath and each step I took on the walk home. I am grateful that when I give my earnest attention to drawing I often “wake up” from the dreams spun by the chattering mind.