on beauty


I’ll be doing more public transport drawing now, since I am to be on the LUAS twice a week. Be warned, fellow passengers! This young man, hugging a box to his chest, was good to draw.

Two elderly gentlemen beside me asked me afterwards if they were in the picture, which they weren’t. Pity, they would have been lovely subjects. That’s one of the nice things about life-drawing: you learn quickly that conventionally beautiful, young, perfect subjects are not always the most interesting to draw. Those with more humanity, more expression, more soul, that is where you want to be, and that can be found in anyone. I like that. I like the celebration, the careful delineation of people who don’t ordinarily get noticed.

The camera is hard on us as we get older, as anyone over 30 who has ever been photographed with a small child knows Рby comparison you look ancient and rugged as a Norwegian fjord. Not so with drawing though, which is a way of finding beauty.