I love to watch courtroom artists, and I greatly appreciate their work. They have to be fast in setting the scene, making the characters identifiable and capturing the mood of the moment. Artists who do urban sketching on subways and buses face similar issues, though without the pressure to have their subjects be recognizable. The closest I come to either of these challenges is in my attempt to draw animals.
Animals make good subjects for sketching, as they force your focus. You cannot count on them to hold their pose; they cannot be convinced not to stretch…or roll…or move away entirely.
You have to be quick, to capture the moment.
Cats, I’ve found, are the best models. Maybe not all cats, but mine, who always tended toward regal laziness. Old dogs are next. I have tried, tried, tried to capture Rosa Parks’s sweet disposition in a drawing, but she’s just too lively. Clover, though older, thinks that whenever I am watching her that intently, it’s because I want her to come kiss me all over my face. Neither one makes a good subject.
So, today, I offer sketches of animals…mostly cats.
Because I pulled these from my sketchbooks, the drawings are accompanied, sometimes, by bits of inspirational quotes and poetry. I like the way the words play against the drawings.