|Pickled. The Country Cat, Montavilla neighborhood, 6/26/2011
Sketching. I used to do it more. I used to do it a lot as a kid, then at least up to high school. Stopped doing it as much, for no particular reason. Then, because I was joking around on Twitter with people I know in PDX Yar, the pirate-themed costuming and educational group that's building its own pirate ship (you can see them do that, too), I got an image in my mind, thought I want to see that, then thought Then draw that. Thus, this little piece of madness.
It's a bad sketch. That's intentional. As Hyperbole and a Half's Allie Brosh once said, "shitty drawings are funny." But more than once I found myself saying to people that I actually can draw better than that, so I thought Maybe, but can you back that up? Do it more and you can.
I'm not doing this to compete with the many very good artists I know, because this is not competition: it's fun. I'm also doing this because of what sketching enthusiast Roger Ebert once wrote:
I've written before (too often, perhaps), about my lifelong love of establishing myself in a welcome place just out of the rain, or the cold, or the heat, or the passing scene, and feeling secure there as I observe the parade. I would not call this "people watching," but more like "closely observed life." To sketch was to provide me with both an apparent reason to do that, and a way to enhance it. For the second purpose, it was more useful even than reading, although in the mornings of course you want your newspaper with your coffee.
In Paris, London, Venice, Cannes, I found corners to establish myself. I published a book about Cannes that was illustrated with my deeply flawed sketches -- but they were perfect, you see, because they recorded faithfully whatever I drew at that time and that place. That was the thing no one told me about. By sitting somewhere and sketching something, I was forced to really look at it, again and again, and ask my mind to translate its essence through my fingers onto the paper. The subject of my drawing was fixed permanently in my memory. Oh, I "remember" places I've been and things I've seen. I could tell you about sitting in a pub on Kings' Road and seeing a table of spike-haired kids starting a little fire in an ash tray with some lighter fluid. I could tell you, and you would be told, and that would be that. But in sketching it I preserved it. I had observed it.
Thus, what's above. It's of a jar of pickled beans and, I think, onions on the bar at The Country Cat, where I treated myself today to a squash-and-pesto omelet for lunch. I used a ballpoint pen, because it's what I had on me. The sketch was quick and messy
WRITING NOTE: This is recreated from my first attempt at this entry. Said attempt got eaten by the website when I tried (as I'd done earlier in the writing) to preview the entry. You may have heard my ARRRRRRRRRRGH. This is close to what I first wrote. And usually I write longer entries in Wordpad, so I can avoid mishaps like that, but this may be the FIRST time I've ever lost an entry. OK, it's not a disaster, as much as I've ARRRRRRRRRRGHed about it, aaaaaaand I'll be more careful from now on.