|4/23/15 Sailor Doyou ink, Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook (from photo)|
Remember the TV series “Heroes” from a few years back? It was about otherwise ordinary people who possessed various superpowers. Some abilities were of the typical comic-book variety, like flying, shapeshifting or invisibility. Some superpowers were just plain silly, like the guy who could melt toasters. Others were more useful in the contemporary world, like the little boy who could communicate directly with ATMs and computers (wouldn’t that be a useful superpower to have!).
If I could choose my superpower, there’s no doubt which one I would pick: the ability to not feel weather conditions. I could sketch outdoors in the middle of a sub-zero blizzard or in the blistering hot desert and feel as comfortable as I would in my 68-degree, climate-controlled home. (Or, for that matter, on a perfect spring day like last Sunday at the Chinese Garden.) My skin would repel rain, wind would swirl away from me, and the sun would never burn. That superpower would allow me to sketch anywhere in the world, in any season. Or just stay here in Seattle but be able to sketch outdoors every day of the year. Imagine the possibilities! Of course, I’d have to figure out how to shelter my sketchbook from the rain, but that would be easy compared to the rest.
(You can probably tell I’ve given this a lot of thought. Especially in winter. Or on a rainy spring day.)
Unfortunately, none of the TV heroes was able to choose their own superpower; they were stuck with what they were born with. If that’s the case, then my superpower would probably end up being something less useful, like the ability to sharpen pencils with a nostril. (The only pencils I use are colored, and they are notorious for destroying pencil sharpeners.)
Which sketcher superpower would you choose?
P.S. This sketch was inspired by part of a vintage photo I found in a magazine. That lovely color comes from Sailor Jentle Doyou ink, my current favorite brown.