Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gimme the Simple Life

Sometimes, I feel like I get a drawing together with just enough lines to make it work. Here is one of those:

This woman was sleeping somewhat uneasily on the subway. Maybe she realized I was drawing her? Maybe her stay-puff marshmallow coat was starting to stick to her in the overheated subway car (I'm least happy with the way her jacket came out)? I suppose I will never know. The light brush of consternation across her face remains a mystery.

Whenever someone catches me sketching him/her on the subway, it makes it difficult for me to continue. She gets self-conscious, I get self-conscious, and a queasy vibe of feigned nonchalance clouds the air between us: she knows I didn't want her to know I was sketching her, I know she doesn't want me to know that she knows, soon she knows that I know she doesn't want me to know she knows, and we slide down, down, inexorably down, into a fidgety spiral of tired sighs and awkward glances. I rush off the subway car one stop early just to escape the humiliation, and wallow in despair for pretty much the rest of the day.

And that's why I appreciate these simple drawings. By capturing someone quickly (and sometimes elegantly - at least I'd like to think so), I've dodged this dreadful bullet. I can leave the subway car at the right stop, and continue on my way without brooding over my embarrassment and the crushing disappointment at the resulting, inevitably terrible drawing.

Excuse me now while I go mope for an hour.

Next up: CAT COMICS! JOY!!!

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