Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lunchtime intermezzo for black ink and reed pen

Lunch is a part of the day I like the most (of course, I enjoy the work too, because it cultivates :-)). On one side I can switch off my machine and for a short time look at the sunshine, smiling faces and put fingers deep into my wallet. In addition the lunch time is an opportunity for me to be myself. At least for a while.

Regular part of our lunch programme is a coffee session in a cafe bearing proud name Lagoon. We call it realistically "The Stink". Without further explanation...

My time is short – just sit down in a chair, greet the waitress, agree with question: "Same as usually?". Follows quick withdrawal of the staff from the pocket of my wind-jacket, shaking the bottle of black ink, free the reed pen from it's box, open the sketchbook. There is a Vienna coffee with heavy load of cream and chocolate already put on the table – then short exercise with fingers and my colleague John gives an order: "Now!" and in a second I start to draw the lines on a blank paper.

I am inconspicuously monitoring potential victims randomly dispearsed around The Stink interior. Colleague Imro remarks: "Do you always have to produce such a strange faces when drawing? Does it help to create a better drawing?" I am hunting details, features, noses, lips, fingers in the clouds of smoke. I pretend watching my colleagues, but to be honest, my eyes follow only one person in the room. That is a dream of all mad painters who dedicated their lives to brushes and colours. You can search such a forms expressing fully your ideals of art and beauty whole life, and you are lucky if you find at least close compromise. It is one person in a million.

michal splho drawing
The Stink is the place of fulfilled ideals of the artist almost veteran. Here is the embodiment of everything you can expect from your model. The light is breaking on her faceforms in a ways, which cause five minutes breathe breaks. You wish to scream: "Stop! Do not move!" and try to catch everything in a three quick draws of ink on the blank paper you have. You try to stop the time, put down on the paper all you saw and felt. Unfortunately, I missed it, including the likeness, light, proportions – of course, ten seconds is not enough to catch the pose Zuza takes while washing the cups and dishes. It is raw reduction limited to the very basic impulses of artistic instinct.

ink drawing
Then the time comes, John stands up, gives an order again: "We leave!" and my dark part of soul hates him a lot. The dream is dissolving, Zuza hides behind the clouds of smoke, moment of freedom ends here. I pack up the staff, blow the papers to dry the ink. I am faced to the reality – I missed it again. Tomorrow there will be another attempt. We say good bye to Zuza, John is buying cigarettes in the booth nearby, and in a short time we sit at work again, preparing magazine, which is weekly distributed to the hands of this small nation.

the stink interior

the stink interior

portrait of zuza
PS: The drawings here are just short excerpt from the time spent in The Stink. As you can see, Zuza is really the person in the leading role of my lunch time. Hope you enjoy the show.


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