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Friday, July 17, 2015

Trees with Faces and Homeless Spectators

Remember the tree I started drawing last month? Well, I've been back a couple times. Using my Artist Loft Watercolor pencils, I've deepened the colors, and made progress with the background.

Recently, my wife and I headed down to Balboa Park for the weekend. A friend gave us tickets to the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, and we planned on seeing a movie about whales. We decided to make an evening of it, so we packed up some sandwiches, chips, and drinks, as well as our sketching stuff.

Outside the space theater, there's a large public fountain, in which children like to play, surrounded by a number of trees. As we had some time before the movie, my wife and I sat down at a table outside. My wife worked on the fountain. I started in on the foremost tree, using my new Prismacolor pencils with the softer lead.

A young woman occupied a nearby table when we arrived. She took no interest in us, absorbed as she was by her smart phone. Shortly after we arrived, an asian family took up a table behind us, and chattered away in their language, punctuated by the occasional spicy* English word. 

Then a black gentleman arrived. With his dark jacket, short dreadlocks, and black hat, he looked like just another tourist. He sat down at a nearby chair, and then occupied himself by moving it a little every other minute. Then he sat in another chair, and started moving around in that.

After awhile, I think he moved to a chair near the asians, and did his little nervous-chair movements until they left. Finally, he sat down next to us, moved his chair directly between us, and leaned forward to watch us. While I was honored by his interest in our artistic endeavors, I can't say I felt entirely at ease. Nevertheless, we continued to sketch until a few minutes before showtime, then packed up and entered the Space Theater.

After the movie, we had planned to resume our places, eat our dinner, and finish our sketches. But the black gentleman was still sitting out there, albeit alone in a crowd of tables and chairs. (I wonder why). So we carried our packs off to another area of the park, where we spread out a blanket, and ate our picnic dinner. We watched the planes that passed overhead, flying in to land at San Diego International Airport. And we studied this nearby tree. 

I don't know about you, but this tree reminds me of TV shows I watched in my youth. It just seems as though it should have a nose, and that, if we look carefully, one of its eyes will open. Either that, or the bark on the trunk will part, revealing a hidden passage into the bowels of the Earth. Personally, I prefer the first thought**: that the tree was alive, and as fascinated by me as I was by it. Perhaps I'll return to sketch it someday. But first, I'd like to finish my sketch of the tree and the fountain in front of the Space Theater.

Dragon Dave

* Spicy: a type of word not used on polite blogs, often composed of only four letters.
**I prefer faces to bowels. Don't you?

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