I'm often moved by how the act of drawing can connect stranger to stranger. Yesterday was a day of such connections.
In the morning, my husband and I went to a café for breakfast. With a busy day ahead, I hadn't planned to sketch, but an older couple in my line of vision grabbed my attention. The stoic stiffness of the man's body, the way the overhead light robbed him of local color, bathing him half in warm, half in cool light was compelling. His companion was a woman, much smaller than he, birdlike of feature, blue of eye. Her heavily-accented English accent broke in and out of earshot. I tried to be unobtrusive, but after a time she noticed what I was doing. She left her seat and came to our table. She said 'I noticed you were sketching me. Are your sketches for the public to see?' I apologized for intruding on her privacy and handed her my sketchbook. She looked at it, was quiet for a few seconds and said, 'The last person who sketched me was my father. I was seven years old.'
We talked a bit more before she left. My husband recognized her. 'She is Mrs. M,' he told me, ' a Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family in Germany in the war.'
I'd scheduled a morning of sketching with Sue, a wonderful woman and fellow artist who lives in a nearby town. We'd connected on the internet a couple of years ago, through my blog and her Flickr account--- drawn together by drawing.
We went to a different café and drew. Here are my sketches. After I finished this one, I showed it to the girl who who was the subject, as she got up to leave. She hadn't known I was drawing her. She smiled and said, 'You picked the right person to draw. I'm an artist, too. I do pet portraits to help pay for college.' I asked her her name and gave her my business card.
As Sue and I were winding down our sketching session, a man appeared at my shoulder and said, 'I've been watching you draw. Can I see what you've done?' I showed him and we introduced ourselves. His name is John, he said, and he draws, too. In fact, he's illustrated a book. I asked him for the particulars and he gave me this website link. We talked about local figure drawing opportunities and said we might see each other at one of those sessions. Drawn together by the act of drawing again.