May 2012 sketches

Many people may be looking for casual opportunities to draw away from the rigidness of the classical art studio; I’ve found drawing on the subway can provide just that.

With the art world seeming to get more and more serious I wonder if something as freewheeling as this is what people are searching for now.

What is most interesting about drawing on the TTC is the range in characteristics you will find in ‘models’.  In one train ride you will see a wide range, from the characteristics of Japanese people, to Canadian people of Russian descent and just about everywhere in between.

The subway and transit system has been frequently connected to artistic activity.  There are many art movements of the 1990’s that revolved around it.  From Keith Haring to Wild Style- I wonder what it is that continually draws artists to this place.  Perhaps it is just a subject like another, but I think there is a deep meaning found in it as it holds a reflection of the community that shares it.  I hope I am bringing that out in the drawings.  There is an art show going on right now at Steam Whistle breweries involving the TTC as well that was pretty cool: http://torontoist.com/2012/05/building-storeys-ttc-yards/.

When I draw first I scan the subway car and try to see if anyone has any of what I perceive as the physical traits of highly sensitive people.  I have learned from experience to avoid drawing them as they will most likely be jittery.  Although this is like guesswork sometimes, it usually works out for the better and I avoid those that would be most likely to give me the Shrek angry face!

Although sometimes even when I find someone who I think I can draw, they get really fidgety when I start and the drawing is lost almost before it began.

The subway may hold the potential of containing the world’s most beautiful faces; I just hope I can increase my skill so that if I come across one of them I can capture its essence!

One issue is that when I think I have found someone who may qualify as having one of the world’s most beautiful faces I give myself an added pressure to get it in time and that makes the drawing extremely difficult to pull off!  The pressure!

There is so much that goes into these sketches as they are literally done in minutes if not seconds.

So far this month only one person locked eyes with me.  It is so freaky when that happens!  Ugh!

Do you have any TTC stories to share this month?

Rob Dales
Sketches on Rails

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