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.


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