"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Saturday, March 12, 2011
King of the Jungle
Ever aware, I lean forward on my steering wheel and I search. Barely breathing, I drive slowly - drifting through the early morning like a lion through the mist. I am a hunter. And there they are.
People, dining at breakfast.
I almost don't stop - it's too much like what I always sketch when I am in restaurants. But the scene appeals to a hunger in me - the cafe' - the umbrellas, some open and some closed, with their interesting colors and shapes; the palm trees; and the early morning diners. So I park facing the restaurant. I pull out my Lamy Safari and I sketch. Then I grab my paints and paint almost everything on site. I am there for some time, motor sometimes running, sometimes not. I listen to the radio. I daydream..
Why is he there, parked in that car? Why is this man viewing the patrons in my restaurant? He looks like he is up to no good. Maybe I should walk over to him and tell him he is not welcome here, that he is alarming the customers. Then again, maybe I should call the police. The officer comes. I pull out my sketchbook, and show him my partially painted sketch. He narrows his eyes and looks at my license. He shakes his head. Step out of the car, he says. I hear him as he radios Homeland Security..
The restaurant gradually fills with customers. But nobody notices me. It is as though I am invisible. I finish painting and quietly slip away. I am satiated. I lick my whiskers and roar with delight.
And this is something else altogether. It's in what I've decided is my unlucky sketchbook - something almost always goes wrong here, if not the drawing, the painting. It is not a moleskine. It is a beautiful nicely-bound Strathmore sketchbook. I have decided I do not like the paper, and may not use it anymore.
I work hard on my coloring, trying to add gradations of value, especially in skin. Have you ever heard that a touch of green in the face will give a man a fine five-o'clock shadow? Poor woman. Unlucky. Another victim of my stealth. So quiet even I didn't even see it happen, until it was too late. But I am pleased with the sketch, so I include it for your pleasure.
Now pardon me while I lay down, stretch ever so slowly, and yawn a big toothy yawn.
But before I sleep I'll swiftly swipe with my claw and capture an image for Shadow Shot Sunday - because snatching images - that's what artists do.
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!