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Old 14 June 2018, 11:44 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,436

This is an odd one that's going to take some explanation, and that also might sound as though I've made it up, because it almost feels that way to me too. I drew a very quick sketch, and it turned out to have captured an important moment in somebody's life, and they were surprisingly happy to be given it.

I met some friends (for a work-related project) in the garden of one of my local pubs earlier. We finished our business, and my friends left. I still had a drink, and nothing else to do, and annoyingly I'd left the book I was reading at home, so I decided to do some sketching. (I have a small sketch pad and pencils in my bag, which I'm less likely to forget than my book, as it's always in there). Because my drawing style tends to be rather cramped and pedantic, I've been trying to practice spontaneous sketches, especially of people, since I can't usually draw people.

So I drew a few very quick, scribbly sketches of people on nearby tables, trying to get shapes and body language, before becoming embarrassed that they might have noticed me drawing them and going back to drawing some clouds and my beer bottle as usual.

The pub rang last orders surprisingly early - it was only 9.30 pm or so, I think. They don't usually ring that early. I didn't want to go home, so I went to another local bar, which has a similar clientele to the pub. I got a beer and was sitting at the bar; had a chat with the staff but still didn't have my book with me so I got my sketch pad out again and started planning a drawing I'd thought of that I could do with my pens.

Then a couple came in who'd been sitting on a table near me in the pub garden previously. I recognised them because I'd done a quick sketch, and they'd had interesting body language. She'd been quite expansive and had been gesturing to the sky; he'd been staring at the table. But nothing to suggest anything wrong between them. They seemed happy enough.

This couple sat at the corner of the bar a couple of stools away from me. After a while I got bored with my sketch planning, there was nobody to talk to, and the couple looked as though they were at some sort of pause in their conversation, so (having had a few beers) I turned to the page with the sketch I'd done of them, and slid it along the bar towards them. (This is one of the details that sounds as though I've made it up. There aren't many times when you get to slide things along the bar to people; but this was one of them.)

I wasn't even sure they'd recognise themselves - I'm crap at drawing - but to cut an already too long story short, they did, and seemed happy. The guy came and asked me whether I was an artist or whether I drew much and what sort of drawings and paintings I did and so on; I was answering his questions when his girlfriend came up to talk to me as well.

She told me that I'd captured the exact moment when they'd "decided to have children". (I'm not sure what that means... given my study of their body language earlier, I think it might have meant the moment when she'd told him she was pregnant, and they'd decided to keep it). She gave me a huge hug. I said that if the sketch meant that much to them, they could have it, and tore it out of my sketch pad to give to her. (I'd seen her photographing it when I'd slid it along the table). They got me to "sign" (I only ever initial things) and date it... and a while later, when I left, they both thanked me again and I got another hug...

As I said, this sounds as though I made it up. Even writing it down makes it sound that way to me. But it happened... a spontaneous scribbled sketch of mine ended up being important to somebody and being a part of their happiness, which makes me happy too.
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