“Colors speak all languages.”
— Joseph Addison
Last week, I loved sharing a sketch with you that I created in Vancouver, Canada, in 2014, in the beautiful public market on Granville Island. And as I read through your comments on the story, I noticed a common thread running through your observations: Many of you mentioned the vibrant colors and details of the fruit stall I’d chosen to sketch that day.
As I picked up on the common theme in your comments, my mind began to wander, envisioning the spectrums of other markets I’ve had the chance to sketch over the years. I first thought of the Dadar flower market in Mumbai, India, with its wide, round baskets overflowing with yellow and orange marigolds and the air sweetened with the scent of jasmine and red roses.
I remembered arriving in the town of Yenişehir, Turkey, just in time for market day, where I sat sketching in front of a stall selling pomegranates — one of which the stall’s owners broke open and gifted me, its bright seeds spilling out into my hands like rubies.
And there were still more smaller produce shops or carts I sketched in places such as Colombia, Bulgaria, and Spain, each time my painting kit’s palette racing to match such a vivid array of hues.
But it isn’t just the colors I’ve always loved about markets — it’s the chance for connection. Here’s how I described it in an article about Mumbai’s flower market for Selamta Magazine a few years ago:
“Markets have a way of drawing me to them. The weekend Chatuchak market in Bangkok. The Sunday bird market in Porto, Portugal. The morning market on Nusa Penida — a small island off the coast of Bali. No matter how big or small, each market has a way of unlocking that place for me, letting me get to its very heart as I witness the local community coming together.”
And so, inspired by your comments and observations last week, I went on a little hunt through my hard drive, gathering the sketches I’ve created in different markets around the world, as though gathering a bounty of fresh fruit or flowers at a market.
I hope these sketches send a bit of color your way today, friends, and that you enjoy this whirlwind watercolor journey through some of my favorite markets around the world!
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What are some of your own favorite markets around the world? I’d love to hear about them below! And if you have a sketch or photo of a market to share, that’s even better 🙂
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