PasserbyPosted: November 22, 2012
When I first started urban sketching it took me some time to feel comfortable (as in not self-conscious) sketching in public. Attending the Urban Sketchers workshop in Santo Domingo pretty much cured me of any residual reticence about standing and drawing in the middle of a crowd. I am always careful of my belongings as I sketch because sometimes I get really absorbed in what I am doing and am not too aware of what people are up to around me. It struck a chord when I read about how USK blog correspondent René Fitjen had all his beloved sketch gear stolen at the Brussels train station. And then while I was sketching today I had a bit of unpleasant incident of my own. I was in the middle of a fairly busy street, sitting on a bench, when a man appeared suddenly and stood in front of me, blocking my view and acting a bit confrontational. I think anyone who sketches outside ends up talking to people who come to peek over your shoulder and have a look at what you are doing. But this man was clearly aggressive and although he asked me a lot of questions about what I was doing, he stood too close and at one point he even tried to grab my sketchbook. In the end nothing came of the incident. I kept on sketching, trying to ignore him and eventually he moved on but it did leave me with a bit of a chill and it wasn’t only because I was sitting outside in 5° weather.