Monday, April 9, 2012

The Child Within, the Child Without

4/6/12, Akashiya Thin Line
When I’m out sketching in public, other adults who happen to notice what I’m doing will give me sidelong glances, and every now and then I’ll overhear one whisper to another, “Oh, look, she’s sketching.”

Children, on the other hand, are more openly curious. Shy ones will come over and take a peek at my sketchbook without comment or response to my greetings. Others will be bolder and come right out and ask what I’m doing, or tell me about their drawing experiences. In those moments, I feel a kinship with children – they understand the joy of drawing, just for fun, and now I do, too (though it took me several decades to rediscover this joy).

On this sunny but cold afternoon at University Village, I sketched, among several things, a girl walking along the edge of a fountain in the courtyard. She moved too fast for me to capture much detail, but I was pleased to have captured her at all. A while later, while I was engrossed in sketching another scene, I sensed someone behind me, and it was the girl I had sketched, looking over my shoulder at my sketchbook and smiling. She told me she likes to draw, too. At that moment, I did something I’ve never done before in the context of sketching in public: I told her I had drawn her and showed her the sketch. She seemed delighted.

4/6/12, Akashiya Thin Line

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