Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Couchsurfing love

The Portrait Project and I were featured this morning in the Couch Surfing "Surfers Making Waves" page.

This is great motivation for me to finish scanning and sending out those 60 portraits from the tour!

Thanks so much to Mars for the coverage of the project on the CS page. has been an uncannily good incubator for the idea of a randomized traveling art performance, and I don't think I would have been able to have such an interesting trajectory and sampling of models without CS.

Also a great reason to consider Tour #2---but I'm going to need some help. I need ideas for cities to go to, and I need a sponsor to underwrite my airfare and travel expenses.
Interested?  Ideas? Contact me.


  1. I found your blog via couchsurfing, just wanted to say what a wonderful project you have come up with!

  2. i do this too!! I often feel strange though drawing someone for over 10 minutes. I guess though its always surprising what many people are okay with. I will have to try this today. What is the average length of time you get people to sit for? :):)

  3. thank you guys! I really appreciate your comments. the idea is really very general, what I did is customize it to my interests--people and travel and randomness. and then of course I've always wanted to say "I've done 100 ____" and now I can.

    It takes me 30-45 min for a portrait, depending on various factors (how much the model moves, how tired I am, if it's too hot/cold/sunny/windy if we're outside, etc.)...I've done as fast as 15-20 min but for my style and expectations, that is too fast.

    people do take breaks during this time though!!

  4. Hola Marianne!
    I am an Urban Sketcher from Spain and also have been develloping a project rather like yours. In February-March I uploaded in flickr a perfomance I made at Palacio de Congresos de Madrid called "Small portraits for two euro".
    This month I was supposed to join a collective exhibition in La Rioja, Spain, with a similar perfomance, "Gratis portraits" but I was really tired after a 4 mounths trip.
    You say this is a common idea but I have only seen the gift, gratis or "bargain" way in my and your project, wich make them be out of commertial atmosphere and have something new I guess.
    And your idea of making it run by couch surfing is really great.
    Hope we can collaborate one day!
    All my best!
    Javier de Blas

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  6. It's so good to see your project growing dear, made me happy... Hope the second round really comes with some sponsors and partners!

    take care!

  7. I was just searching for road trip adventure blogs and came upon yours. I'm driving cross country in August and will be couchsurfing for the first time. I hope you'll check out my blog about the adventure at

  8. Looooove the concept Marianne!! Have also featured you on my new travel blog Hope to get a portrait drawn one day :)