Monday, February 21, 2011
Sketching During a February Thaw
Last Thursday and Friday was so warm in Manhattan! It was too cold upstate and I just had to escape to the city. I scheduled Dr. and Dentist appointments during the week and had the sketchbook in my bag when the weather got really good.
I, along with everyone else, was able to be outside, in the parks, in the sun.
Union Square is on 14th Street and has a very young crowd, skateboarding, playing music and hanging out, some, even without a shirt, it was so warm. Union Square reminds me of Washington Square Park in the 70's. Then, old beatnics and new hippies, and now this variety of post-punk skater/hipster
The Park has steps and statues, and a very beautiful subway entrance. Also, an assortment of quirky types, some homeless, that would stop in to see what I was drawing, but really only long enough to see if I might have any spare change, which I usually do.
On my 48th birthday I had an epiphany about giving money to homeless people. I was at dinner listening to one of the diners at the next table talk about it. He was so adamant about their worthlessness, and how they would only go and get liquor or drugs with the money anyway, and why didn't they just go and get a job.
It all sounded very Nancy Reagan.
I completely went the other way! I thought of all the ego and emotional difficulty involved in begging. I thought of what amount of pain I would have to have, that would exceed the pain to beg and decided that if a drink or something else helped, I would not judge. Some pain I have not had to live!
It does not matter what sex, color or age, or even if they are aggressive (some are) or not thankful. If I am asked, I usually empty my pocket. I sometimes keep $20. in quarters in my pockets.
Bethseda Fountain is in Central Park and it had an entirely different crowd. Half were tourists, half of them from NJ. Many couples, holding hands or just sitting next to each other.
There was an Opera singer and a Mardi Gras band vying for air time on the same breeze, all very pleasant!
I think these urban sketches are more about the dialog in my head, then the quality of the drawing...which I will enjoy seeing improve as I fill this book.
Celeste B., one of my fellow bloggers, asked, "What are we drawing? (above) and reading?
I am listening, on my IPod, to "An Object of Beauty" by Steve Martin.