Sketching workshop at women’s jail in Gig Harbor

Last week, a group of Seattle urban sketchers and I visited the jail where these women are incarcerated, the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor.

About 30 inmates participated in our workshop and we shared a lot of laughs during the drawing exercises, which included blind-contour portraits — drawing each other without looking at the paper — and sketching with our non-dominant hand.

When the two-and-a-half hour session ended, everyone seemed very energized and inspired by the experience. I sure was. Some of the women asked me to draw their portraits and my only regret is running out of time to do more drawings.

The workshop was an initiative of the Seattle Urban Sketchers, my dear team of local artists who meet to sketch once a month. Our own sketcher Jacqueline Helfgott, Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at Seattle University, worked with If Project founder Kim Bogucki to make the visit possible.

Bitnami