My claim to busker fame is usually attributed to my guitar or my didge. When it is summer in the city, slinging my guitar or didge on some street corner is an awesome, awesome sense of freedom. I love it, love it! However, after thousands of summertide strums and drones it does, admittedly, become a rather perfunctory performance. Crunching brown leaves under foot underneath a gray sky while en route to my next buskspot, I have an autumn reflection:
FALL la la la la la la la la la.
‘Tis the season to be sketching!
|AUTUMN LEAVE UNDERFOOT|
Perfunctory is my word for guitar and didge busking; concentration is my word descriptor for portrait sketching. Attempting to quick-draw my patrons within a ten minute time frame demands a very professional-like focus. Though a load of chinwag is normative betwixt my client and self, I rarely veer from my intrusive staring straight into the faces of strangers.
The big difference between summertime and wintertime busking is the portability of my instruments. Slinging a sketchpad and mechanical pencil is far simpler than slugging a guitar or a quiver of didges. Mind you, sometimes I do busk with my pencil in the summer, but from a mercenary perspective, the money flow is just too slow, even though the line-up for portraits can be long.
This is because of my lack of quick-draw capability. Though I often brag I can draw anyone within ten minutes (and I can), to shade and finish a portrait to my particular liking and habit is usually a fifteen minute endeavor. Guitar and didge busking I can easily make at least fifty dollars in an hour; portrait busking I make only forty dollars in a most perfect hour.
I need to draw faster. And this is precisely the reason I set up at the Centennial Market every Saturday between 11:30 A.M. and 4 P.M.
|PAT IN FIFTEEN MINUTES|
|RON IN FIFTEEN MINUTES|
Each of the above portraits took me fifteen minutes to sketch.
This is not my Quick Draw, but I’m sure it took only a minute or two for the artist to draw this.
And while googling, I stumbled upon Quick Draw with a guitar! Imagine that, Quick Draw somehow anthropomorphically representing me!
Meanwhile back at the busk office ... here is my scoop on the perceptual comparisons of guitar busking, didge busking, and portrait busking:
- Guitar Busking
For me the quintessential busker is that messy-haired guy in a white t-shirt, faded blue jeans, and hiking boots. When I’m slinging my guitar I’m that guy who is just passing through town. I’m that guy who people wonder what my story is and isn’t it a pity that I’m reduced to this; yet at the same time envy me because they imagine that tomorrow I’ll be gone and down that lonesome highway singing songs in another town or city.
- Didge Busking
Didge busking has a certain mystique. Even though it originates in Australia, the didge does connote earthy yet celestial appeal, the earth’s heartbeat resonating into deep space sort of feeling. To me, people playing didgeridoos exude almost out-of-body experience.
- Portrait Busking
I cannot draw a house or a tree or a person (as in the Goodenough Draw-A-House/Tree/Person projective test) but I can draw a face. People do not believe me when I express this simple truth. Most of the artists within my social circle have stated that portrait drawing is the most difficult of art forms, yet to me it is the easiest. Passers-by often stop to watch my pencil that never lies in action. Passers-by are always impressed with my product.
And so my skinny review of my above mentioned alterities: When I’m slinging my guitar people think of me as that free spirited stranger-come-to-town. When I’m blowing my didge people think I’ve a social membership in some cerebral and beatnik-like sub-culture. When I’m drawing I imagine people think I’ve a revered adroitness with a pencil that few humans possess.
Rather than my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this week I feel obligated to offer instead some clowns marching in my CHAUCERIAN PARODY. This is certainly not a political blog but sometimes I do feel obligated to express some things I find to be laughable yet offensive.
USA Treasury Secretary, STEVEN MNUCHIN, and his wife, LOUISE LINTON, are posing in typical TRUMPIAN fashion. These clowns are just two of the many quintessential representatives feeding in the president's AUGEAN STABLE!