I’ll Scribble Anywhere, Me.

28 Jan

Sketchbook drawing: queueing at the Empire State.

I know I bang on about artists getting out in public and be seen doing art, but that’s because I feel really strongly about it. The visual arts have been getting a bad press in recent years. They’re seen, often justifiably, as elitist and obscure and this is because a small number of artists who are very good at self-promotion hog the media limelight while too many of the rest of us work our alchemy behind closed doors. I think that artists should be out there in the world, showing people how we work and de-mystifying what we do. I was terribly embarrassed when I first started sketching in public, which was only 5 years ago. I felt like I was standing in the street in nothing but a skimpy bikini – I couldn’t have felt more exposed. But once I started concentrating on the sketching, I stopped noticing what was going on around me and relaxed into it. Most people are really chuffed to see me working and are respectfully interested.

Husb and I were visiting NYC are standing in an enormous queue at the Empire State Building, estimated an hour long. Time to sketch I thought. I did quite a few drawings in that queue – here’s one above. Afterwards, we strolled over to the Chelsea area. We’re of an age to remember The Chelsea Hotel as a cultural icon and we wanted to look in the art galleries in the district. We saw this homeless man sleeping on a park bench. It was late morning and it was FREEZING! I hadn’t ever been so cold and didn’t experience cold like that until I went to Berlin in Winter a couple of years later. It was very sad. His belongings were in black bin bags underneath the bench.  It was so cold my fingers hardly worked, but I wanted to record this moment to remind me how fortunate I am and how people can easily fall on hard times even in wealthy, developed countries.

Sketchbook drawing: man in Chelsea Park.

6 Responses to “I’ll Scribble Anywhere, Me.”

  1. Hansi January 29, 2012 at 15:15 #

    Right on about getting out there in public and doing it. See ya captured on of New York’s finest sleeping on that park bench.

    • Rosie Scribblah January 29, 2012 at 17:40 #

      Yeah I think we should take to the streets en masse – maybe an arty flash mob world wide lol

  2. jhv57 January 28, 2012 at 23:35 #

    I agree–even alchemists need to get out in the world!
    And I agree, again–there are no laws to protect the homeless. We changed our civil liberty laws a few decades ago. Closed mental hospitals because they were seen as taking away the rights of the ill to exercise their freedoms. Upshot-homeless and neglected, untreated people. Still, many people have no understanding of mental illness-think that people can think their way out of it.
    Officials can’t force the ill to seek help. I live in Chicago–very cold winters. See on TV workers trying to plead with the homeless to seek shelter. Heartbreaking.

    • Rosie Scribblah January 29, 2012 at 18:05 #

      It’s heartbreaking. I think artists should be out and about recording what’s around us – good and bad.

  3. pointsthruprose January 28, 2012 at 22:10 #

    a very relevant and meaningful post.

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