Who knew it could be fun to sketch at the hardware store? There were laughs (see end of post) and artistic discoveries galore at our Tuesday night sketchcrawl, now forced to go indoors for the winter. When I first arrived I started to ask one of the helpful employees that Pastime Hardware is famous for, about the part I needed for my toilet. Before he could show me where to find it, my phone rang with the ringtone I made from the Cake song “Never There” (click below to hear the ringtone).
An employee who was standing nearby said, “Hey! That’s Cake.” and then began whistling it. Throughout the evening I could hear him whistling the tune from all around the large store, which gratefully, is one of the few stores in existence that does not play annoying music 24/7 over the loudspeakers.
I had no idea how many differently shaped toilet seats there are. I discovered that looking at the negative shapes between the seats helped me to better find the shape of each seat. Then, looking more deeply and trying not to generalize, I discoverd the piles of boxed and/or wrapped toilet seats on the shelves behind the display. And then I noticed and added the pegboard behind that. I fell in love with the pretty color I mixed from cerulean blue and yellow ochre for the pegboard. This, to me, is the joy of sketching in a nutshell: seeing more and more deeply and the fun of making lines and dots and shapes and playing with color.
Next I faced the opposite direction and drew and painted these large metal watering cans up on a tall shelf.
When I got home I glued a bit of my receipt (from the toilet flapper I bought) to the edge of the page in my sketchbook (above). Tonight I thought the page might look better with a dark background so I added some ink, didn’t like that, and then painted with gouache over the ink to get more what I had in mind. (The receipt is still there, I just didn’t scan that part below).
The last sketch I did was of Cathy sketching a row of hand trucks in the room filled with bins of nails. I messed up her face but fixed the FAIL by pasting another piece of receipt over her head.
I would have liked to sketch more but it was nearly time for the store to close. It had been a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the comments and questions of passing employees and the few customers shopping on a very quiet Tuesday night. Cathy said that when she was sketching outside the employee break room she overheard employees talking about us and saying, “There’s a lady out there painting… TOILET SEATS!”
At 8:45 a man announced over the loudspeakers:
“Good evening customers…and… ART STUDENTS [giggle]. The store will be closing in 15 minutes so please bring your purchases to the [giggle giggle] cashier …[giggle]…”
…and then laughter ensued throughout the store, employees, customers and us artists alike! It was a slow night at Pastime, with twice the employees as customers, so I’d like to think they enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs.