Monday, July 23, 2007

Drawings in Motion

Sleeping on the E, 2007, ball point pen on Moleskine sketchbook
As an artist it's not a surprise that I would be looking at everyday life with more attention to detail. This is what makes us artists special, we are able to capture magical moments that happen in the world which most common folk don't even see. I always go through life paying attention to random little things in the street, at home, and everywhere else. This way of seeing created an itch to draw while I was in motion. Riding the subway trains of New York City can be an experience to remember. You will find all kinds of people from all walks of life: homeless people, construction workers, families, people dressed in formal attire, and street entertainers to name a few. So what is one to do in a long train ride with so much stimuli?
Just Looking Down, 2007, ball point pen on Moleskine sketchbook
Get the pen out and draw! I've never sat anywhere in public to draw strangers because I don't want to weird them out if I look at them too much with a pen and sketchbook. So as I sat in the train last week I had to pick my random subjects in a systematic way. I would see how long they were in the train for and if they didn't move at all from their original pose than I would chose them. If they fall asleep in the train even better! These drawings are part of my growth, I'm venturing outside the walls of my apartment to practice my art. What's great about drawing in the train or bus is that it creates a control exercise for the handling of the drawing tool, in my case the unforgiving pen. Every jerk and turn of the train could possibly create a disaster on the page, so drawing with so much motion allowed me to concentrate more than usual and really think about the places where I was laying down the lines. A challenge is always good and this one seems to have awoken a new interest. I think I'm hooked!
Tree, 2007, ball point pen on Moleskine sketchbook
Are there trees underground? No way! But they are above ground. As I was riding the bus the other day I couldn't help but to get this tree off my mind. Boredom and a long uncomfortable bus ride made me think of open spaces filled with beautiful trees. So there I was drawing again while the bus jerked around. I was not sure if drawing an imaginary tree would be a success but again, concentration took over and a tree was born. I wonder what else will go down in the sketchbook on my next train ride?

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