I’ve missed looking at people’s faces these past couple years. It drove me to draw them off TV freeze-frames, that’s how much I’ve missed them. Sitting or standing in some public place and surreptitiously drawing strangers is one my main occupations in life. So for two years I’ve been underemployed, so to speak.

I’m doing my best the past few weeks to make up for that lost time. I’ve doodled at bars, coffee shops, and concerts. All the places I used to go before the plague closed them. It’s like a renewal.

It feels good to once again be antisocial in public. To be with but apart. That’s my comfort zone. The sketchbook is both a way to connect with and protect myself from other people, as well as our shared surroundings. I think maybe the word I’m looking for is liminal. Never used that one before. Maybe that’s not what I mean. Times like this I’m reminded that I’m just a dumb painter.

I’ve drawn enough lately to finish one sketchbook and start another. Cracking open a blank book is like the changing of the seasons. The added wrinkle this time is that it’s a different brand. Different paper, very different feel. I almost have to relearn how to draw to accommodate it.

Feels right in view of all the other upheavals, no matter how minor a change it may sound like to you.