|8/18/14 Platinum Carbon ink, Caran d'Ache Museum water-soluble colored pencils,|
Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook
My hair was on fire today with a bunch of errands and appointments that I had to get done before I leave town at the end of the week. I didn’t really have time for a sketch, nor did I have a subject in mind. Then on my way to an appointment, I spotted this on the sidewalk outside a church I pass frequently in my neighborhood: The sad shell of an old piano missing all of its keys, its cover, its front face and one of its pedals. Strings, hammers and all the rest of its intricate innards were entirely exposed. The finish was almost completely worn away, and parts of its once-ornate legs were broken off.
If I had thought about it for more than two seconds, I would have realized that a piano is a perspective study that requires more than 15 minutes to sketch. I would also have realized that if I had taken the hour or so I needed to sketch it carefully, it would have been a nice way to honor an old piano that had probably given many years of musical service to the church – and was now on its way to the dump. But all that had occurred to me was that the piano might be gone by tomorrow, and 15 minutes was all I had to give it.