I noticed them walking ahead of me just as I was at the steps of the office. They were both tall with broad shoulders and a slightly lumbering gait. They seemed perfect together. I wanted to capture them in a less literal way than usual so this was a first stab at that – more colour, less form (still came out more literal than I wanted).
Afterwards, I decided to see what it would look like if I forgot about trying to depict them in anatomical form altogether and just thought about their energy – a surprisingly abstract result – would like to figure out how to work somewhere in between.
The metal rod in his hand didn’t have a ring to it. Some metals have a bright tinkle to them; this sounded like it was made of lead. Still, it was definitely “Jingle Bells” being tapped out in tuneless, flat thuds against the street lamp. I walked past, inhaling his cigar smoke and singing the song in my head.
I looked it up. Apparently, crying can make you feel cold. Or at least, there are people out there who say that they feel cold after crying, and who’ve posted on different sites asking why that is. I didn’t find any answers – at least none based on research (I didn’t look very hard either). Maybe the young man is one of those people. He certainly kept repeating his warning – and the little girl kept wailing. I wonder if his words will stay with her whenever she cries.
My daughter was looking at daily sketches I’d done over the past few months and said, “You see the world in a dark way.”
“Really?” I asked. Her observation came as a surprise.
I saw the worn clothes and bundled possessions of the woman in this sketch. But what I was most struck by was her pleasure. She was lost in the moment with her ice cream, her eyes half closed. It seemed she was letting the world disappear for a while, allowing her surroundings – a deserted strip of storefronts by the transit terminal – to soften and fade. What I saw was her pleasure, what I imagined was her as a child, what I felt was a little hope. Because she was having a moment of grace in what was obviously a difficult time in her life.