I have a series of places around this city of Salisbury here in the UK that I like to hide away with my sketchbook and just draw what’s around me – it serves as a great observational exercise, plus it stops me from wondering around the shops during my lunch hour spending money I don’t have.
One of my favourite places to set up camp in is Salisbury’s library as it contains such a variety of people: young and old, awake or asleep, they’re all in there. I remember sketching a man who had fallen asleep in the chair across the room from me. He woke up before I could gently leave my drawing of him on his lap for him to wake up to.
Drawing in the library has made me realise something rather interesting and that is that when I’m drawing I’m surprised at how little I’m noticed. If I had a camera and started snapping the people around me I’m sure I would get a reaction from my subjects but not with a sketchbook. Drawing in the background allows me to record a snapshot of library life when everyone’s being themselves.
So if you’re visiting the library here in Salisbury, Wiltshire and happen to fall asleep in one of their chairs, you never know you might wake up with a portrait of yourself on your lap.