One of my favorite tee shirts shouts “LEAP” in large cascading letters.
So I did, at the Naples Grape Festival, drawing the characters who responded to my signage: “Characters Wanted, Kit is ready to draw YOU.”
For years, in my ever-present sketchbook, endless pencil sketch ran or snuck into the primary sketches for my primary work: large graphite drawings, which are often 18” X 42”.
Once the idea to draw characters surfaced, I started building a small ‘set’, a bright colored, vintage telephone bench, found at a non-profit resale store. It did not take me long to create a plan, selecting 9” X 12” and 11” X 14” drawing tablets, coupled with a cascade of markers.
The Festival Committee gave me a spot and were enthusiastic about the concept: character drawings with all the proceeds to be given to three non-profits, local businesses.
On Saturday morning, September 21st, the last day of summer, all was lugged to the Memorial Town Hall and set up under a multicolored beach umbrella. And they came! From a 2-year old to a 90-year young woman in a wheelchair pushed by her son.
Sitting four feet away, at eye level, the conversation began. The artist and ‘model’ greeted one another exchanging first names while Kit’s left hand took control of the visual. An intimacy grew as the drawing began, which in retrospect, was never anticipated.
Laughter often erupted through stories shared.
The actual drawing, to my surprise, flowed much easier than expected. The markers jumped in and out of their containers and the time flew. Most drawing took between 30 and 45 minutes. Requests for drawings with two people modeling on one page took longer. No one complained. Well, OK, the 2-year-old pink-cheeked cherub did not like me staring at her. Her Mom was there calming the tears and screams.
The pace of festival-goers was steady while crowds of onlookers often filled the space. Wrapped and rolled, the character sketches were carried away. Participants, including the artist, were more than pleased. The 2 days flew by quickly.
Taking the “Lead” was a life-fulfilling experience…and my skills improved too.