Whoopie! This morning at Cranky Al's Donut Shop, I was fortunate to squeeze in two more pages in the proj: exhibition sketchbook before the clock strikes midnight. Here are the 2 new pages (click images to see larger versions):
Page 19: This is a sketch of my son Nathan, as he enjoys a double-chocolate donut with red, white and green sprinkles. He's at a colorfully painted small kid-sized table (very popular with the kids at cranky Al's). Surprisingly, Nathan sat still long enough for me to sketch his face and body before bouncing around the place on a sprinkle-induced sugar high.
Page 20: I always get a good laugh from this sign at Cranky Al's. It sits quietly on top of the donut counter, providing newcomers with a small dose of Cranky Al's brand of humor. This is the kind of sign you'd never, ever see at a Starbucks!
Sketchtoon Status: 2004
Having achieved 20 pages of sketchtoons already, I'm feeling very good about reaching my goal of 30 by January 15th. I'm finding that it's more a matter of sketching something interesting the moment the idea enters my mind. I must never let a great opportunity pass. Once ink is on a blank page, I'm committed to finishing, which happens pretty quickly.
Today, this idea reminded me of "The Decisive Moment", Henri Cartier Bresson's attitude toward photography. Cartier-Bresson always felt there were moments which appear and disappear in seconds, which a photographer (or artist) must be ready to capture.
Here is a quote from the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation website, explaining his approach to photography and the Decisive Moment:
For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to “give a meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.
To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in a face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.
To take a photograph means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second– both the fact itself and the rigorous organisation of visually perceived forms that give it meaning.
It is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.
As a fan of Cartier-Bresson's wonderful photography and now feeling the rush of capturing moments in sketches, I can more fully appreciate his point. To see Cartier-Bresson's work, visit Photology's Cartier-Bresson Gallery, The Washington Post Portrait Gallery Exhibit or The Peter Fetterman Gallery.