Girl 99Posted: March 9, 2016
I don’t usually write notes in my sketchbook but this one was just too good. I was riding a crowded subway on my way into town today, minding my own business, doing some people sketching in a very small book. I could tell people were glancing at me drawing, but when I picked up my head there was a burly man glaring down at me. I smiled to break the ice, but the smile was not returned. Instead I got this: Est-ce que c’est légal, ce qui vous faites? (Is it legal, what you are doing?) Bien sur, I said. Je crois que non (I don’t think so) was the reply. Mais oui, I said as I smiled again and shrugged my shoulders. And with that the metro came to a stop and the menacing stranger threw me a final Je crois que non and left the train. I could tell the other people around me were just as shocked as I was, and perhaps relieved too, that the subway had stopped at just the right time.
I know other sketchers who have had issues occasionally, often while drawing on trains, when the person they are drawing turns to confront them in anger. But I wasn’t drawing the burly man, I was clearly drawing a girl on the other side of the train so I’m not quite sure what the offence might have been. Bad drawing, maybe, but drawing in public, I don’t think so.