This is Steve, a homeless busker who lives in Newcastle. He plays on Northumberland Street, fellow Geordies may have seen him around. I sat and watched him play for fifteen minutes while I waited to meet my friend when I was back at home this weekend. We got into a conversation because a policewoman approached him and reprimanded him for begging. He was busking, not begging, which he clarified, and the policewoman went on to tell him he couldn’t stay there for more than 2 hours and then would have to move on. I am in no way a ‘kill the pigs’ kind of a person, I used to work with the police in Edinburgh and they were always excellent, but I thought maybe this police officer could have turned a blind eye to Steve the busker. He was doing something productive to earn some money..times are hard man, let people be! Anyway Steve and I chatted about this then I sheepishly asked if I could take his photo so I could draw him. I’m pleased he said yes!
With this picture I went back to doing something I really love – drawing straight onto paper with my pen, no pencil first. I actually find this works better…I concentrate a lot harder when I know there are no second chances. It was also lovely to sit up late by myself, candles on, listening to Amos Lee, determined to get this finished in one nigt. I had such a satisfying sleep afterwards.
Hope you like it.