Am I A Voyeur?

4 Sep

Visiting the hospital so frequently gives me the opportunity to sketch new people. It’s a bit uncomfortable at times because I wonder if I’m being voyeuristic. I censor myself to a degree; I won’t draw anyone who is obviously in distress or is terminally ill, but also, I don’t let them know I’m drawing them either. Is this bad of me? If I let them know, they might be less ‘natural’ – and also they might have expectations of the finished sketch. And that’s the thing; these are only quick sketches, not painstaking formal portraits.  I think that many artists are voyeurs, but so are photographers and writers, even those doing sociological and anthropological research. Does that make it OK? Should we ask permission to record and interpret everything we see around us? That’s coming a bit too close to censorship for comfort. Maybe it’s in my nature to be a voyeur and I should stop worrying about it.

Here’s the man in the bed opposite my relative. He’s pretty robust and jolly and he’s having a snooze here in his armchair. I’ve drawn this with my Pilot V5 Hi-Techpoint pen into my A6 recycled ‘Artbox’ leather bound sketchbook – it’s nearly finished – just one page to go.

13 Responses to “Am I A Voyeur?”

  1. barefootandmenopausal September 9, 2012 at 05:05 #

    I don’t think you’re a voyeur. Calling yourself a voyeur implies erotic overtones and I don’t see that. I see you drawing what’s in front of you in what seems to be an honest, respectful manner. Nothing wrong with that.

    • Rosie Scribblah September 11, 2012 at 08:21 #

      hhmm yes I see what you mean, although there is a more recently accepted meaning to the word voyeur as one who watches in secret, not necessarily in an erotic way, since the advent of reality television. It’s an evolving word I guess. Thanks for your observation 🙂

  2. notes to the milkman September 6, 2012 at 23:03 #

    This is a constant discussion with “candid” photographs particularly in the street. I’ve always taken the attitude it is better to ask forgiveness afterwards rather than permission before.

    • Rosie Scribblah September 7, 2012 at 09:13 #

      I find that people are far more positive about drawing than photography. Maybe because photography is more immediate? Or perhaps they perceive, rightly or wrongly, that drawing is more skilful therefore they are more likely to be flattered that an ‘artist’ is drawing them?

  3. The Blithering Idiot September 5, 2012 at 14:25 #

    Yes, you are a voyeur. But at least you’re not standing outside bathroom windows taking pictures 🙂
    Nice sketch
    Hansi

  4. Doodlemum September 5, 2012 at 08:59 #

    You’re observing with your eyes and your hand responds with it’s pen. Your drawing is surely a reaction of what you see. It’s done with feeling and heart which is a world away from a cctv camera or a paparazzi photographer. Lovely sketch. 🙂

  5. ziggyshortcrust September 4, 2012 at 21:44 #

    People always seem to notice me sketching, which ends up with me feeling self conscious. I wish I had your stealth tactics.

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