The City Market

City Market by Charlie O'Shields

As we near the end of the Kansas City tour this week, I figured it would be good to stop at The City Market in the River Market district. It has a rich history dating back to 1857 when the City Market Square began as a site for market commerce, horse trading, political rallies, revivals, medicine shows and circuses. Today it’s a thriving farmer’s market with shops and restaurants.

This was a fast and loose sketch again that I sort of attacked with various colors. I didn’t limit the palette on this one but just grabbed for lots of different “fruit colors” and made a quick wash. Outside of the clearly marked Pineapples, and the noticeably banana shaped fruit, the orbs were kind of fair game for whatever fruit felt like appearing (including a rogue eggplant).

Since I actually grew up in the suburbs of Kansas CIty, the River Market was also the first place I lived that was officially in the city. I had a loft there while I was working for a company that made promotional postcards for real estate agents (which was as thrilling as it sounds).

I was so excited to live in the city and to find a reasonably-priced place that it never occurred to me that being single and alone would also make things a bit lonely. Not long after, I befriended the guy across the hall and since I would never remember to lock my door, he would often burst through it like Kramer from Seinfeld to visit. Something like this would horrify me now, but back then it was so comforting to know I wasn’t completely alone all the time.

It was equally ironic that I lived next to a Farmer’s market and yet didn’t know how to cook. I would end up eating prepared foods or whatever horrible cheap thing I could find on the run. Years later, I still can’t cook, but living with someone who can has at least given me an appreciation for whole foods.

Taking Philippe to the market, he was impressed by how cheaply we could get our food, but the crowds made the prospect of going on a regular basis less attractive. So I decided to draw the market like I wish it was. Imagining a woman walking alone through a lovely and quiet place. One where you could stroll unencumbered, among the various fruit colored objects until you find the perfect ones to take home. So somebody who loves you can do whatever it is one does with them.

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
40 Comments
  1. Fiona Rose 2 years ago

    You’re a great writer and storyteller Charlie! If you were ever so inclined, I’m sure you could have a column for a newspaper or magazine 😎💅🏻

    • Author

      Hehe…too much pressure I’d fear! It’s all I can do to blog daily! 😉But that you so much for the vote of support Fiona!! ❤️😃

      • Fiona Rose 2 years ago

        Writing and doodlewashing, either way you’re a renaissance man Charlie 😎 your paintings tell the story so no pressure 😄. Loving the tour of KC!

  2. kungfunaomi 2 years ago

    You mean you wish the market was “Ah.” instead of “AAHHH!!!” 😀
    Great drawing!

  3. Jodi 2 years ago

    OMG!! This one is FABULOUS! This had to take quite a bit of time. So much detail. Love love love it! Looking on my iPhone now but can’t wait to look on my computer screen and enjoy even more! Bravo! Going I miss touring Kansas! What’s up for October???

    • Author

      I’m not sure!! Hehe…still haven’t figured out what’s next yet!! And thanks!! ❤️😃Glad you like this one. It was fairly fast, but I kept getting lost in little details like I’m prone to do! Hehe 😊😊

  4. Kari 2 years ago

    Charlie, this is amazing! Your loose sketch certainly has lots of details! 😊 I love to cook and we do often go to our local farmer’s market. We watched Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution a few years ago and try our best not to eat foods with lots of preservatives and additives.

    • Author

      Thanks, Kari! ❤️Yeah…is still love the details…even loose! 😉 And cool! It’s tough with prepared foods to avoid all the crap, but when you make it yourself, things can get really healthy really fast! 😉

  5. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    Your market piece charmed me with its vibrant colors and sexy lines! I agree with Philippe, the crowds at those markets make me feel claustrophobic. 😛

  6. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Lovely market scene and narrative. Your color really pops! Thanks Charlie for my afternoon entertainment 😃☕️.

  7. Carmel Campbell 2 years ago

    Strong lines and colors. Love your loose sketching style and your story.

  8. kirkistan 2 years ago

    Great drawing and great story. Oh for the uncrowded market! I like the notion of drawing things as we wish them to be. Why not? I really like the deep tones you’ve capturered, and, of course, the shadow. Nice work!

    • Author

      Thanks Kirk!! 😃Yeah…I’m starting to be less literal and just draw what I like. And this way…it does mean less people in the sketch, so win win! Lol

  9. Carol King 2 years ago

    Hi Charlie, We had a farmers market near us in NY for years and years. But it was just easier to go to the grocery store around the corner. Plus, I didn’t cook that much either. So what would i do with all the produce? Now in Asheville, I live close to some farmers markets and I’m going to try to buy and cook stuff from them.

    Great sketch. I love the orbs and the eggplant. Did you put the wash of color in first and then define the orbs and bananas? Or vice versa? Love the windows too, especially the one where you can see the outside.

    • Author

      Thanks Carol!! ❤️😃You should try to cook some things! Hehe Lately I always do a loose sketch in pen only and then go back with watercolor to finish it. I used to sometimes go back with pen, but now I just leave it to whatever happened in the first sketch.

  10. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    I just discovered a local Farmer’s market in my neighborhood last week! I was so happy to have fresh veggies and fruit that I kind of went crazy! I figured if I couldn’t carry anymore produce, it was time to leave! LOL! Enjoyed your story and all the details in your “quick” sketch, Charlie! Glad to hear that Philippe cooks healthy for you. 😊

    • Author

      Awww thanks so much Jill! ❤️😃 Yay for going berserk at the farmer’s market! More! More! Hehe…I’ve done the same before 😊

  11. Jacob 2 years ago

    Another fabulous painting, Charlie – ha, my eyes went straight for that rascal aubergine! I wouldn’t know what to do with half of this stuff, but nevertheless it’s nice to go to places like this and appreciate the colours! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks my friend!! ❤️😃Yeah…I have no clue to cook anything! Guess it’s good I married a French chef! 😉

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Ha! Indeed, yer jammy beggar!

  12. Wow, Charlie! Look at all the detail you captured so quickly! This is wonderful and I once again love the story this inspired you to tell! Also love the Seinfeld reference. 💛💛💛

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! ❤️😃The detail sort of emerged much more than I was expecting here! Hehe…just got a little lost in the little lines again! 😊Glad you like it!!

  13. jmnowak 2 years ago

    I enjoy the crowds in our local fresh produce markets. There are two reasonably near where I live and both are quite different. I tend to have lunch at both, whenever I visit. One place supplies me with my flower photo ops, which you’ve seen on my blog (ornamental kale is a recent one), and the other has deliciously healthy food, my fave there is Vietnamese Chicken Salad…yum! I’m surprised that Philippe isn’t trying to teach you to cook…all it takes is a simple dish, and you’re away and becoming skilled before you know it!
    This drawing draws me in…very nice, Charlie!

    • Author

      Thanks, Janina! ❤️😃Oh believe me, he tried early on, but after sampling the results he casually suggested I limit my kitchen time to doing dishes instead. 😊

      • jmnowak 2 years ago

        Hmmm….Philippe doesn’t sound like someone who gives up easily! 😉

      • Author

        Hehe… neither one of us gives up easily which is why it’s great we mostly always agree! Lol

      • jmnowak 2 years ago

        …but not on cooking, eh…lol too!

      • Author

        Hmmm…sort of if both agreeing I cannot cook and should stay far away from the stove counts! 😊

  14. ann christina 2 years ago

    Wow, this is so beautiful!!! I enjoy your KC tour so much for when I lived in Kansas I was there only once with school and didn´t really see something of the city. I get to know the city just now years later through your pictures. Seems like I missed something…

    • Author

      Thanks friend!! ❤️😃 And you did miss something Ann!! Missouri!! Lol All the really cool stuff is across the state line! You need to come back to visit! 😉👍🏻

  15. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    You paint as beautifully with your words as you do with your pens and brushes! Love these types of farmers markets and I too share the daydream of being able to walk through without the fear of being pushed into a crate of watercress or something prickly like pineapple lol. Beware the rogue eggplant!…..(I am going to be giggling about that for the rest of the day ;D ) Thank you for this smile.

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