I went to Dallas, Texas for a few days this week to visit my daughter. I did this drawing while at Starbucks one morning.
Haley Being Drawn
I hung out at Starbucks yesterday morning and did a drawing of a woman having what seemed to be a mentoring time with someone who might have been a family friend, maybe a past professor, who was helping her talk through career ideas. I drew her as they talked. She stayed on to work after the gentleman left. After I showed her the drawing a guy came up behind me and said how good the drawing was, how beautiful she was and how the drawing didn’t really do her justice. He went on about her beauty and the drawing and I had a feeling the double attention was making her uncomfortable. Knowing a guy had been drawing her was probably awkward enough, but another guy coming along and focusing on her looks as well was a bit too much. I gave her my card, told her where she could find the drawing later and went on my way. As I went outside, the guy who had said something about the drawing came up to me and said ‘we have the same taste in women.’ I simply said, ‘She is beautiful.’ and went on my way.
It bothered me though that he would say that. It’s like my deeper appreciation of her was sullied by his shallow response. Then again, his comment wasn’t offensive really, or tacky, trashy or rude. It was just a pretty average male comment. But it bugged me nonetheless. I sat down at that table because I saw her there and was hopeful she would be there long enough to draw her. She was interacting with someone so she had her head up and I wanted to take advantage of that instead of another person who might have been looking down and a book or computer. I also was hopeful I would have time to get the person she was talking to into the drawing, which I did, just barely. And yes, I thought she was beautiful and I wanted to draw her because she was attractive and well manicured in hair, makeup and dress.
How I See
So, why did that guy bother me? Were the two of us that different? Is the fact that I used my time viewing of her by doing a drawing better than the other guy just staring and doing nothing? In the end, what I love about drawing or photographing people vs just staring blankly at surface ‘beauty’ is that in my creative act I feel I am discovering the person to a much deeper degree. I am seeing the outer shell, true. But I am also investigating, paying attention to the tones, shapes, colors, expressions, style, body language, feelings, etc. I am interpreting and exploring who the person is and how I see them. I am making something of the encounter. Something that says more than just ‘she’s pretty’.
At least that is how I see it. What do you think? Do you think I am any different than that other guy?
Drawing by Marty Coleman at Starbucks on Greenville in Dallas, Texas