Note from Amy: My piece of writing “The Little Burmese Tout in Training,” was published online just a few days ago. Check it out!
She sat in a nest of vegetables, her white hair tied up in a bun at the very center. Peering down at her from my spot on the second floor, I watched as customers came and went, many lingering to chat long after their business was concluded.I had all the time in the world to draw. She wasn’t going anywhere soon. But it was hot up there and I worked quickly knowing I would tire before long. Sketchpad leaning on the rail, I drew the woman, the vegetables, the moving crowd.
Many months later I went back to the market and looked for her. There she was in the very same spot, surrounded by an even bigger ring of produce and flattened cardboard boxes. It seemed to shelter and protect her from the activity swirling around.
I was surprised to be reminded that she was flesh and blood instead of a sketch. For me, she had become pencil on paper.
Art Lesson: It is not often I place the focal point dead center but it seemed right for this particular composition. The loose gesture line I used generously reflects the tremendous energy contained in the marketplace. The pure white of her hair and the dark shape of her blouse offset the chaos. The flattened cardboard provides a welcome geometric element.