Sketches, Eve Young, and the Library of Congress

I'm nocturnal. My family, being made of normal people, are all... uh... day-turnal. They like sunlight. My body wakes up at the same time their bodies do, but my brain isn't fully functioning until around lunchtime. My best time of day is when the sun goes down. Suddenly I'm a monument of productivity. Suddenly I want to paint and sketch. Suddenly there are no people around for me to paint and sketch because they are in bed. I can draw in bed, but my husband says it's weird and I need to knock it off because he can't sleep with that light pointed at him.


So I do a lot of drawings when the sun is up and I'm only partially conscious, and also a lot of drawings from photos when it's dark and there are less people. I really prefer to draw living, breathing people. You'd think it would be easier to draw a photo, it doesn't move. And in some ways, that's true. But my better drawings are all done from life. I can't explain it.

So I won't.

You can't make me.

Anyway. What I sat down to tell you has nothing to do with my sleeping habits, I was going to tell you that the Library of Congress has a mighty fine Flickr stream. It is a treasure trove of reference photos to sketch when you're wanting to sketch and yet no one is awake and they unscrewed and hid all the lightbulbs in their bedrooms, also it's hard to aim a flashlight and draw at the same time.

When that happens, you can head over to the LOC Flickr stream and pick a photo of a person, a boat, a horse or whatever it is you want to draw and draw it. The Library of Congress does not complain. It does not throw pillows at you. It is the perfect model.

Eve Young, taken January of 1947 by William Gottlieb who wrote "Chanced upon Eve Young & Jack Pleis breaking bagels at midcity restaurant day after they lost their canvas because of Benny Goodman tentfolding." on the back of the photo. I don't know what canvas they lost, or why Benny Goodman's tentfolding cost them the lost canvas, but she seems happy about it, so I'm ok with that.