USK 4-19

Barber Shop

Chiang Mai, Thailand.  A barber shop sits tucked away on a little side street, customers and spectators alike gathering outside. Open to the air, the shop is cool enough this morning but the green metal fan is turned on just the same. A man climbs into the ancient chair and the barber’s dance begins.  There is lots of conversation although I understand very little.   I don’t mind.  It is a soothing background to my drawing.  The barber does most of the talking and the customer urges him on with a frequent “oh” which sounds more like an “aw.”  Add in the lilting tone so natural to Thais and it sounds like the cooing of a dove.  It is very intimate and sweet. Snip, snip, snip.  Pinky in the air.  He trims around the neck and ears with a straight razor.  Old school perfection for 30 baht.  (For you Westerners, that’s 93 cents.)Art LessonDrawing on Location at this local barber shop was so much fun!  Customers came and went, some showing curiosity about the drawing.  Others pretended I wasn’t there, or maybe they were just showing respect.  The barber’s head is in the “sweet spot”of the composition and his arm serves to keep us coming back to the customer on his left.

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