Faces of Recovery: Cindy, Toni, Mike

Drawing portraits from photographs is always hard for me. Perhaps because there’s no story, nothing to draw and paint except anatomy and light and shade. But with a story, a face comes alive. A portrait is so much more than a sum of features.

If you’re an urban sketcher and draw people in cafes and on the streets, you might wonder how it is to draw so closeup, with your subject knowing you’re drawing them. I find it freeing that there’s nothing surreptitious about it. Sitting across a table makes it more of a conversation. I don’t set up an easel and I don’t work so large that the work feels like a barrier between us as we talk.

This is Cindy White with her story.
“I left home at 17 and it took me until I was almost 30 to complete high school but I did. I persisted.”


This is Toni. This is her story.
“After 20 years of homelessness I’m in independent living now.”


This is MikeĀ with his story.
“Recovery Cafe fills that need for family in my life.”

Find every story recorded so far here.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in Activism, california, Close to home, Faces Of Recovery, people, Portrait, reportage and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Faces of Recovery: Cindy, Toni, Mike

  1. Bernadette says:

    Thank you for sharing these emotional stories & images. We all have a “story.” If only we knew the heartache & struggles behind the faces we would be more understanding & compassionate. You help us to see more clearly. Thank you.


  2. Lee Kline says:

    Suhita, these are wonderful portraits. I am meeting Gabi Campaniero this morning and sketching With the Seattle Urban Sketchers.

    Lee Kline

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Very interesting stories, and good portraits of people.

    Liked by 1 person

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