Battery de Russy / charcoal and chalk / corrected and extended


Funny thing about a woman that goes out alone to sketch, am I in danger or am I the danger? As an old white girl, I’m not usually  looked at as a suspect, but security is watching me.

Fort Monroe. It looks safe to me. Every time I’m there I see so many security cars go past me. It might be the same car again and again, I don’t know because I don’t pay it any mind. I’m just standing out there trying to sketch. Or I’m sitting in my car taking a break. Yesterday the security car pulled in behind my car and sat there for a few minutes. I thought he was running my plates. Then he left. Did he look me up? Did he find me on google? A couple times I saw a cop stop on the other side of the street and take a photo. I ignored him. I don’t know if he took my picture or not.

I chalk it up to people not seeing an artist sketch in public alone, so they don’t know what to think. Yesterday a guy (civilian) drove into the same empty parking lot I was parked in close to the battery and got out of his car. He asked me if it was ok to park there and I said,” I guess so.” He told me he wanted to take pictures and he walked over to the battery. I got in my car and took a little break.

A few times in my years of sketching in plein air alone, I thought perps were checking me out. I didn’t get robbed. Sometimes these characters talk to me but I’m not afraid of bad guys, so I’ll talk. Once I thought a perp was planning on robbing me but changed his mind when I saw him and didn’t act afraid. Then he saw I’m left handed. A lot of criminals are superstitious. Maybe my being left handed saved me that time, but I don’t like to push my luck and I didn’t go back to that spot in Richmond overlooking the James.

I wish one of those security guards at Fort Monroe would talk to me so I could better assess the situation. Should I finish this sketch? I kind of wanted to try to paint the battery. I wonder if they think I’ll try to go into the battery, which is off limits. I’m not interested in going in there. It looks spooky, but I’m not superstitious.

It might take some time for me to become a fixture there like I do at other places I hang around drawing. Maybe in the whole 400 year history of the fort no one has ever just hung around drawing. but a lot of people take photos. why don’t I just take a photo like everyone else? Taking a photo won’t help me improve my drawing skill like trying to draw the battery freehand will.

19 thoughts on “Battery de Russy / charcoal and chalk / corrected and extended”

  1. Looking good Chris.
    Can I share that similar things have happened to me too. I was sitting in my UTV in a marina doing a watercolor of sailboats a few summers ago; having a wonderful time. I looked up and there was a man standing by my door looking at me and he scared me half to death cause I never heard him walk up. He wanted to know what I was doing so I showed him my sketchbook. He asked me where I lived and I said “Down the street, why is there a problem?” He said he wanted to make sure their boats weren’t being harmed. Seriously? Well he ended up chasing me out and now they have signs posted everywhere “Marina Patrons Only”. How stupid!
    I have many more stories and so because of it all I only plein air paint when the hubs is with me. I won’t go alone anymore.

    Good for you for not letting anyone bother you! 👍🏻👌🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the story. I’ve been run out of places I was painting too. It’s weird out there. Unfortunately, I got no hubs. I wish I had a big mean looking body guard sometimes. I can’t let it stop me. The boat owners might be paranoid from too much alcohol and drugs. hahahaha. No, maybe one of them damaged their own boat and blamed it on an outsider for the insurance, who knows.


  2. Gosh. That’s so interesting. In all the pics You’ve posted, it never occurred to me the things You may be going through while painting/drawing. I work in my little cocoon and this never comes up. WOW. I don’t have an opinion other than I love that You are not afraid. Life’s so interesting, isn’t it? Your drawing, as always is wonderful. It will be interesting to see what You decide. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s good for me to go out to draw and paint since I’m too reclusive. And the fresh air and sunshine is keeping me healthy. Plus improving my drawing. Yeah, I’m fearless. 😉 but I’m not going out for a hassle either. Thanks

      Liked by 2 people

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