Who needs life-drawing sessions when you can just jump on a subway platform and draw the performers (while listening to sometimes decent music)? One of my new favorite things is to spend a weekend evening finding great performers to sketch. You lean against a support beam with your sketchbook propped in your arm. After a few minutes, the performer notices you there, but keeps playing. You see people tip him, hover around you, dart their eyes from your page to him.
But the greatest moment of tranquility is when a train speeds by. It stops at your platform. Everyone boards it. It leaves. And the only two people left are you and him. And his music fills the space, echoing down the halls where bodies used to be. It’s like having a private show. But its more of a dialogue. A conversation.
People come down the stairs and it repeats itself. And before you finish up and hop on a train, you go in to tip him. Sometimes he’ll ask to see what you drew. Sometimes he’ll even stop playing to see what you drew. But everytime you’ll get a genuine smile, or a nod of appreciation, and you’re off to the next platform to do it again.
PS. Bring small bills.