It is a middle of winter but the weather has been very mild for a long time. We wished for snow for Christmas and as it was in many past Christmas no snow came this time either. So when I took a stroll around Prague New Town this afternoon it was not so crazy to take a sketchbook and charcoal and do few sketches on the way. In fact I did not intend to draw out in the street but to sit down in a nice warm cafe and do few lines there. But as I was walking I saw a couple of views that I really liked. When I reached into my bag for a cell phone I realized it stayed at home on the kitchen table. Standing there in the cold I cursed and wanted to continue walking but then a thought crossed my mind. I could just draw a quick sketch there on the spot. It was a chilling thought since I did not do this for ages and my second inner voice was doubting if I could do it at all. I did reach into my bag for the sketchbook and did few sketches standing in the cold and dark. The streets were lit beautifully as they often are in the old Prague. Some strangers passed by and few of them turned to see what I was doing giving me strange looks. My fingers were getting increasingly cold but I managed to capture two street corners – Na Zderaze and a little square connecting Pstrosova and Vojtesska street, not far from the new Globe cafe. Before going home I stopped in our downstairs Local bar. Over a nice glass of wine I was thinking how often the fact that I had always had something with me to take a photo with had not been helping to capture the best way what I wanted to paint. What I see is not possible to capture with a camera simply because what I see is not only the visual thing. The whole ‘thing’ that I feel the need to express in painting is more complex. It goes through my eyes somewhere inside, into my brain, my heart, my soul perhaps. The colors, lines and compositions then come out from within and they form through the process of painting a physical artifact. To get more directly to the ‘picture’ I wish to express is somehow easier when the camera is not capturing the image for me but when I capture my lines, my colors, my composition right there with my hand.
This does not mean I would not be using my camera to take pictures of things to paint anymore. I only hope to give more space to drawing or painting directly from life despite the strange looks of passersby. 🙂