While you are reading this I am in day 4 of Jury Duty. Yup, this week I am a servant of the State.
So as I was writing this last Friday while waiting to find out if I was worthy of being a juror (curse my honest face) I found myself thrown together in a large room with an interesting cross-section of humanity. Farmers, accountants, teachers, executives, bus drivers… and an artist. I feel like I was the only artist there since I think I could have recognized one of my own peeps. But who knows?
So in artistic fashion (and out of sheer boredom) I began to sketch those around me. A treat for me to be sure. And I found that sketching out in public gets people to look at you in one of two ways:
1.) Morbid curiosity that someone could use a pencil for something other than writing or
2.) Sneakily staring at you while thoughts pass through their head like “What the heck is this lady doing?”
I guess artists sketching out and about is not a common thing. Pity. I found it much more fun than skimming through social media which is what 75% of people seemed to be doing.
I was amazed at how restless people are. Shifting, moving, tapping, breathing… always in motion. So most of my tiny sketches are quick-draw gestures of a minute or less. And the more I did them the more perceptive I became. (I told myself) Who was tired? Who was tense, who just wanted to go home? The human body has such a loud, silent language.
So while I can’t talk about my case or what I am seeing and hearing, just know that I wish I was drawing everyone around me while in the juror box. Not allowed I am afraid. But know that while I am being an innocent and good civil servant, in my head I am guilty of measuring the proportions of the faces around me and studying their features.
More next week.
Being an artist is not for the faint hearted. You cannot turn it off and on like a light switch, 24/7 365. You go girl. Thank you for your service.
wait until all of you on the jury have to be together in that final room to discuss the case. you will then see a bit more of humanity & personalities …. agreeing and disagreeing.
you will not have to sketch these .. they will express their personalities .
well it took us 3 minutes to reach a decision. The case should never have made it to trial. Silly lawsuit. Our only emotion at that point was relief….
I used to be a Probation/Parole Officer and frequently spent my days in court doing the same thing. I unfortunately attracted the attention of the judge one day and was called to the bench with my sketchbook. He wanted to see why I was doing. As he flipped through the pages, he came across a couple of sketches of himself. He smiled and said, “You are very good at this,” tapping one of the sketches, “But I would have preferred you made me look a little younger. Let’s keep your hobbies out of the courtroom.” Later, after the day’s session, he was kidding me and the local reporter saying that the paper needed to hire me to do their courtroom sketches so it wasn’t a hobby anymore. That didn’t happen, but I’ve been tempted to go back and ask him if he might be interested in sitting for a formal portrait sometime. I really did like him as a judge.
hehe. fun story. I didn’t draw in the courtroom, only in the holding pen. I did give the judge my card at the end!
Wow! Of course you can’t talk about the case, but I’m betting you’re in a civil trial rather than criminal. Have you ever been someone who paints the goings-on of courtroom trials? Could that be financially lucrative for you?
I seriously doubt that would be lucrative. They paid us $14 for the day and parking was $20…..
That’s awesome, Christine!
Christine, I’ve been to Italy six times. All I have to do to make new friends is start drawing in a restaurant or coffee bar. And with the name that I have, next thing that happens is FREE DESERT!
Bless you for being a good citizen. I was on jury duty three times and I’ll have to say it was interesting and educational. I’m glad I experienced it, and I’m inclined to say that everyone should be obliged to do it at least once. Since I’m beyond 75, they won’t be calling me any more.
Oh woe is me that I still came to Sweetwater on Monday hoping to see you…
how I blocked out the cancelled class due to jury duty is crazy because you only told me a few dozen times!…but obvious to me, so I laughed.
When in doubt, laugh…
You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t, so you might as well break out laughing
you are the best at laughing! se you next Monday! They should have emailed you that I had to miss…..
Keep capturing those emotions in your drawings because this is what people need to see…vicarious struggles with confusion