With the temperature soaring into the upper thirties (95 degrees Fahrenheit) it proved to be less than comfortable weather for drawing. It seemed to me to make more sense to go into a café and draw at a table rather than put up and easel and attempt what I did the night before. I always have a willing side-kick in Matjah. She seems always ready to take strides along side of me so we left the others, crossed the bridge into the old city. Turning the corner onto a major intersection (there may be no more major an intersection than this one in all of the city of Ljubljana) there sat a COMPLETELY naked man for all to see.
It appears that Ljubljana is trying to be avante garde and in so doing decided to have a life drawing course in full view of the entire city. They may not be aware of this – some people – even those who are not prudes – may not like their vacation or supper ruined by viewing some fellow’s private parts.
Amsterdam tried the same “OPEN CITY” experiment and after thirty years discovered that there are some things a city does not want to open about. It so happens that when there are no secrets there are no children. We rob children of their childhood. I doubt if the police and the enlightened city fathers would treat me nicely if I exposed myself to the same people. In my view, this borders on child abuse. In spite of all of this, the shock on Matjah’s face and her speedy departure, we soon managed to settle in at a table in popular coffee shop and there, I started drawing. If you don’t believe this naked man thing actually happened, I have a photograph.
I drew a quick picture of a young girl who continued to move about frequently slipping behind her mother and out of view. When this would happen, I would have to wait until she popped out again and only for a minute or so. By the time I completed anything that resembled her they were up and leaving the table so a valuable contact point was lost.
I managed to do two more portraits. One was that of an Edwardian looking fellow which made it some easy because of his beard and mustache These landmarks turn out to be helpful for any artist and whether the eyes, mouth or nose are right or wrong it doesn’t seem to matter since the mustache and beard usually turns out to be good enough for most people. Upon handing the fellow the drawing and the
tract the girl behind us perked up with affirmation regarding the likeness. This gesture of compliment encouraged me to draw her next. I took the portrait over with a tract buried in my hand. She kindly received the portrait but then seemed to shut-down completely when she saw what I had handed her. I tried to be funny, charming and complimentary but nothing worked and left her table feeling emotionally dismissed.
Thanks to Matjah, I have a few candid photos.