"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Doing the Reasonable Thing
I sketched this man at Balado Tire in Miami. He was waiting for his car, and I was waiting for mine. This was my first time at Balado Tire, a place that had been recommended to me. I was happy and a little surprised that I was able to communicate with the owner with no difficulty. The service was great, and the manager spoke English well.
I am one of the few people in Miami that speak only English. As of 2008, the percentage of English-only speakers was 27.2% of the Miami population. Now I am sure that it is much less.
So you may wonder how I get by.
My answer? Just fine, thank you very much. Here is an example:
The other day I went to Subway and ordered a breakfast sandwich. The lady behind the counter asked me a question in Spanish that I didn't understand. (She was apparently asking what kind of bread I wanted and listing choices, though I didn't know it at the time). I did the only reasonable thing. I said to her: "English, please."
And she got me an English Muffin.
Which was exactly what I wanted.
See? I get by just fine.
I know that the sketch of the man at the tire place looks like others I've done, but for me it is very different. It is much larger. Here you can see size comparison of this sketch to a sketch from an earlier post. It's funny, but the transition to a larger sketchbook has been more difficult than I'd imagined. I'd done larger works before - no problem. But apparently I've gotten used to sketching in public at a certain scale. So it's been like switching from racquetball to tennis - with a different length handle, I've been missing a lot of lobs.
It hasn't helped that I have been trying to improve my sketching of the figure. My proportions have been way off at times. So I did the only reasonable thing. I took out my ruler and I measured my wife. I recommend this. Measure your spouse or significant other. After that, do whatever feels right.
Proportions have always been a challenge for me. You need to have patience for proportions. And although I like to fancy that I am a zen master with all the ohmmms in place, it ain't always so. It's why I pretty much stay away from sketching architecture. It's why drawing and painting on Yupo, which is kind of like juggling with jello while ice skating, is the appropriate way for this artist to paint a building:
I strongly recommend that you be reasonable in all that you do - like me. But don't let anyone else's definition of reasonableness replace yours. If doing the reasonable thing means doing it like everyone else, then the only reasonable thing is for you to be unreasonable, si? Makes sense to me.
Swerving along the artistic road with every sight a potential target. * * * If you'd like to contact me about any of the art that you see - about purchases, commissions or just to say hello - feel free to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you!