Monday, March 1, 2010

Adventures of a Ninja Sketcher

Spent all the Open Studio time today chatting about arty stuff and didn't get a thing drawn. An itty bitty kidlet class was taking over the studio so I escaped into the hallway. Paintings were leaning against the wall in preparation for a show and a rooster one caught my eye.

I got down on my hands and knees with my nose an inch from the glass and studied it in detail. Fabulous feathers on this bird. I think I figured out how she did it. Must sketch and take notes.

You can skip reading all that on the left unless you are interested in painting feathers using watercolor. Just look at the bird and think, "Oh nice" and keep reading. But on a side note, I'm not sure if it's kosher to sketch the paintings or not, but I was out there doin' it in front of God-n-Everybody and nobody said I couldn't, so I did.

So I'm out there on the bench sketching the bird and the droning plunk, plunk, plunk of the piano tuner man is reverberating through the building. The receptionist says, "I'm about to go out of my mind listening to that."

"Is he close to being finished?" I asked.

"No" she says with a sigh.

"Excelleeeeeent" says the Ninja Sketcher with an evil smirk. A captive and preoccupied sketch target.

So I don my black pajamas and creep into the big rehearsal hall. I take up a position in the shadows partly obscured by a wall but with a full view of the piano. Out comes the Black Pen of Justice. Swish! You are mine! You cannot escape me now! (evil laugh)

Sketch, sketch, sketch, sketch, sketch.

(The squeaks are where he used the tuning wrench to tighten the string.)

I have to point out that even though I am in the shadows, I'm sitting on the floor in a completely empty foyer and am in full view should anyone open the main door. They would have to walk three feet in front of my knees to get in or out of the rehearsal hall so it's not as if I'm skulking around in the back corners or anything. Even Ninja Sketchers know it's not polite to creep people out.

I had just started to paint when Tunerman abruptly finished and turned to leave. I confessed I had sketched him while he was working and handed him my sketchbook. He chuckled and said, "You even got the broken ankle."

He told me the story of his broken ankle and how the doc had put him in the walking cast boot thingy. More chatting about piano tuning and he told me his story of the little boy asking him the question.

Then he added, "There should be a piano lesson going on right now. Somebody's late."

Excelleeeeeeent. More victims.

In a few minutes piano teacher and student came in. Teacher asked, "Will we bother you?"

"No, not at all, go right ahead," smirked the Ninja Sketcher.

St. PITT of Faber-Castell, patron saint of sketchers everywhere, was really smiling on me today. It's not often sketch victims willingly plop themselves down right in front of you when you have an open sketchbook and pen in plain sight. Yes, St. PITT was smiling...and so was I.

Sketch, sketch, sketch, sketch, sketch; paint, paint, paint.

My ears couldn't bear another minute of the piano lesson so I escaped back to the hallway again. A young girl saw me refilling the waterbrush and asked what it was, so I did another little show-n-tell.

She followed me to the bench in front of the rooster to watch me paint. I was thinking out loud for her so she would understand what I was doing, why I was choosing what colors, and how the brush worked. Had I thought about it at the time, I should have given the book, brush and palette to her and let her paint the rooster. Must consider that in the future.

Suddenly a flood of kidlets swarmed into the building for a class about to meet. Lots of young eyes peering over my shoulders. One guy studied my drawing for a bit, then the rooster painting, and said I had missed the brown color at the bottom. "Where? What brown? I am old and cannot see." We both got down on the floor on our hands and knees to study the painting. "Here" he said, "right under this part." Oh. He was right. Good eye kid.

He scurried off to his class, and the Ninja Sketcher scurried off home, because by this point she was suffering from Kidlet Klaustrophobia. However, I was sooooo stoked by the sketching and painting today. Three sketches completely painted on-site. Woot!

Got home and ranted and raved and flapped my arms, telling Hubby all about the day's events. I was high. High like on cocaine high. This is how the creative process is supposed to make you feel. Stoked I tell you.

And the rest of the world wonders why sketchers are always hunkered over little books with inkpens. If they only knew.

Life is good.


Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Wonderful story of a wonderful day...

raena said...

Hahaha!! Great post! I'm high off your high! The NINJA SKETCHER!!! Still chuckling at your cleverness...

john.p said...

Now you're letting out our secret that we get a high when we sketch! If you do that very often the whole world's gonna start sketching. :)