Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Sketch

Watercolor and pen and ink in my Fabriano Venezia Sketchbook

Hope everyone's Labor Day was nice....good food to eat and fun in the sun!  In the Northwoods, we are in a rain pattern.  Rain, rain rain!  Friday night the power almost went out.  Today the sun peaked out at 5pm!  But, we weren't going anywhere--the car is in for repair and my hubby is ill.  It was a staycation weekend where I got some art done, and the never ending housework battle catch up.

I did a sketch in my sketchbook today from memory.  We have seen this man every time we go to town since moving here 15 years ago.  He must live south of town as he is always coming north with 2, 5-gallon empty pails, or going south with them full.  He picks up aluminum cans the tourists decide to throw out their vehicles and he rummages through the local business garbage containers for them.  Judging from where we see him walking, he must put on at least 15 miles, every day.   

He must be at least 80 years old, a wrinkled, weathered face, clothes that drape over his small body as if they were two sizes too big.  He always wears a hooded sweatshirt and, depending on the weather, a coat.  A pair of $2.00 brown work gloves cover his hands.  The county deputy sheriff gave him a Day-glo highway vest with glowing stripes across it so he can be seen by all the speeding vehicles.

His gait is sharp and quick as he needs to make his rounds before the garbage men pick up the night's containers.  He doesn't talk to anyone that I have ever seen, but goes about his business, collecting his two buckets of cans.  We didn't see him at all last winter, and we were worried something happened to him, but we started seeing him again in August.  Still walking fast, still picking up cans.

There are so many questions I have about him. Does he supplement his income collecting these cans?  Is he all alone?  Doe he just want to keep working?  He can't get much for these cans.  I saved all our cans from a whole winter for our grandsons.  When the boys came up, we crushed them and brought them to the recycling center---for all that effort, a whole winter...$8.00.  This man surely can't get much money for them.  So many unanswered questions. 

So, I wanted to honor him this Labor drawing him and thanking him for keeping our highway clean! Hope you have enough to eat and your home is warm!    Happy Labor Day.