Coffee sketch

I had to return a faulty suitcase this morning. Its costly swivel wheels do not swivel, for some unknown reason. It has a mind of its own, and is particularly disobedient in crowded airports and tube stations. I geared myself up for a major argument in the department store where we’d bought it, armed with a bulging bag of evidence in the form of warranties and receipts and if necessary, a full-scale demonstration. (I mean the kind where you show them the problem, but was also quite prepared to do a sit-in if required.)

The assistant completely took the wind out of my (billowing) sails. No questions asked, no demo requested, and just a cursory glance at the receipt.

So, with the transaction all over in a matter of moments, I took myself off for a coffee. I also took the opportunity to do a little surreptitious sketching. I think I’ve only before sketched people who were a) asleep, b) members of my immediate family or c) descending a steep slope on skis at the time and therefore powerless to dissent.

The two women across from me caught my eye, and were deep in conversation. I chickened out when I thought I was staring too much (hence the missing leg of the Timberland-sporting lady and the rather mushroomy-looking table). But this was a brave move for me, and I’m encouraged to do more.

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3 thoughts on “Coffee sketch

  1. i know ‘they’ always recommend live sketching – in cafes, on buses, the tube – but i’d be nervous of staring too – and how do you explain if they demand to know what you’re doing???
    very brave, indeed – i’m most impressed 🙂

  2. It IS disconcerting when they notice and of course then it becomes completely unspontaneous because they keep checking YOU out to see what you’re doing–are you coming on to them, what is your problem? I would really like to ask all those old masters how they caught those spontaneous poses in the pub and coffeehouse, back when cameras didn’t exist to capture a static image from which to paint in the privacy of your own home!

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