Friday, September 21, 2012
Waiting and sketching
I've had an eye problem all week that's meant lots of time in doctors' waiting rooms. Waiting is not something I do well, especially when my schedule is hectic as it has been lately.
However, sometimes it does give an opportunity to sketch and observe human interaction and behaviour. Today I learned that men become babies in the face of illness and women wait it through stoically. Now I know that is not always true form for everyone, but it was interesting to observe. Every male that came through the surgery sat, head supported in a hand at some point; slumped, sighed and twisted themselves into contortions in a chair, while the women sat and read, looked off into space thinking or chatted to their neighbour.
I know some people have a fear of sketching in public places, especially places with a doorway as the only means of escape! I have never had anything but good response to sketching for those who are even aware that I am doing it. I try to be an unobtrusive as possible with no huge sketchbooks and elaborate numbers of pens or pencils. I carry one sketchbook in my bag or pocket and a pen or mechanical pencil, nothing more elaborate. My sketchbook is usually hard covered and black, 5 x 7 perhaps.
I don't make eye contact with the individuals who I sketch, who are usually unaware that they are under scrutiny and if they look up, I move on to the next person, til they resume a position and I can finish a sketch.
In settings with lots of people, I may do full body sketches or just heads, scattered all over the page so there is no composition, just mark making. Sizing is all over the place and all I'm interested in is fitting a face in a space. After all, sketches are not designed to be a complete drawing, more of a snapshot of a moment in time.
So today, I sketched various people who passed through the waiting room, in various moods, most faces registering the boredom that can only come with overwaiting.