So I was coming home from work today on the 1 Train, with my trusty sketchbook to pass the time. Here I was just trying to be a diligent (and covert) artist, and finally it happened.
I was caught, and confronted.
The subject was a skinny, tall guy who caught my attention because of his crazy hat. I just had to get the hat, and I guess he was sharp eyed enough to catch me. The funny thing was the only thing I got from him was his hat and body frame. The clothes and face were from other commuters.
So once he caught me the swearing began. I never knew someone could spew so many threatening words without stopping to breath! He tried to take my book, etc., but in the end, contented himself to continue to hound me verbally. Thankfully, we were only about a minute from my stop when it happened.
Wow, quite a story. But I tell this just to entertain. What I don't want to have happen is my fellow artists stop sketching from life just because of this! Yes, it's a risk, but the rewards worth the risk. Drawing from life is what makes us better artists; like many artists, if I could get away with just drawing from my head, I would. But I know that what I have in my head does not even begin to comprehend what exists in this world. Only by observing the world the way an artist does (ie draw from life) does the artist grow in wisdom and in talent.
If I've still scared you with this story, consider this. We go a drive our cars every day. Why do we drive a car? To get from here to there. What are the risks? Property damage, personal injury, lawsuits, DEATH, etc etc. By comparison, why does an artist sketch? To grow in wisdom and understanding as to the ways of the world through a visual media. What's the risk? A few paranoid individuals get mad. Oh well. Tough on them.
Well, that's my entertaining story of the day!
PS: Yes, I'm thankful I was just caught by the skinny guy with the hat as opposed to the half-ogre I drew on the left page. His coat was just too cool not to get down, but if I was caught...well, let's just say I probably won't be posting anymore. Or drawing. Or painting. Or breathing.