Friday, December 1, 2017


Have you ever spent time in an Apple Store? If so, you know that they are crowded with people looking at the latest electronic gadgets, awash with helpful employees at your elbow, and jam-packed with Geniuses at the back desk. Fun and annoying at the same time. 

I was looking for a smaller, light-weight laptop to carry with me while traveling. I knew what I wanted so my transaction ended quickly, but Bill had his eyes on an Apple watch. While I waited for him, I pulled out my small sketchbook and pencil and started to sketch the people and dog in the store.

As I sketched, I felt like a Luddite. 
A pencil and a piece of paper and lines drawn across the page. So old school. 

In the early 1800s, Luddites formed to combat the advancement of machinery with the thought that industrialization would eliminate jobs. Now we name people who resist technological change as Luddites, like a former colleague who used her computer as a doorstop.  Though I use my computer every day for many different things, I haven't moved over to the iPad as a drawing medium. What I have seen of others' work on the iPad is extraordinary. I've tried working on the iPad but found the lack of feeling between the stylus and the page to be uninteresting and uninspiring. Apple says they are working on that.

I sketch everywhere I go.
Sitting in a hotel bar in Portland, Oregon.

While attending my college class reunion in Claremont.

 Waiting at the Ontario Airport, I watched people hurry to the exit.

While riding the BART train to San Francisco and back, I drew people with earbuds or head phones.

Sometimes I practice calligraphy or draw the back of people's heads.

Or I draw while sitting outside cafes.

In a  class for Illustrator, the instructor saw my drawings and asked me why I bothered with the class since I could already draw and could scan my drawings into the computer. But I knew that Illustrator could be a useful tool for me if I could conquer the long learning process. Most of these drawings have been enhanced so that the pencil lines show better. 

I am not the last hold-out. I recently read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the head designer at Tesla who uses pencil and paper to sketch out his ideas for their futuristic cars.

 Sketching in the Apple Store tickled my sense of humor. I knew that carrying a pencil and a small pad of paper around is an easy way for me to fill up time while I am waiting, but I stood out in the Apple Store. I didn't see another pencil or a piece of paper anywhere.


  1. Long live Luddites if these delightful sketches are what they produce!

    Tell us more about Illustrator--I'm too much of a Luddite to know it.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Luddites unite! Illustrator is an Adobe program used to create illustrations, logos, whatever used to be done with pencil and paper. Lots of time needed to be able to master the program.

  2. I need to go there today...and I so dread it. iPad is old and not working right. Sam tried to help today and he always blows up.
    Your sketching is getting better each time I see your work. I envision you as going down in history as a well known artist/writer/blogger/craftswoman.

    1. What a kind thing to say, Jan. I can't think of a better way to be remembered than as a creative person, just like you!

  3. So fun to see your creative process at work in these sketches, Martha, and your powers of observation!

    1. Teresa, thank you for your comments. Your words are a boost to my day.


Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from readers. I answer each one.

I do not post Anonymous comments because of problems with spammers.