Street Scenes or Inner Life?

watercolor by N Wait 1983

watercolor by N Wait 1983

Once upon a time I fled the Upper East Side of Manhattan for what was then the wilds of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. My motive was a (very) cheap rent for lots of space in unfamiliar surroundings where I might recreate myself (again). My intention was to paint my inner life. Then, hankering for some outer life during my second year, I took to the streets to see what was there. I recorded my findings in an 11×14 inch sketchbook.

I found a woman selling Bibles, hats and tambourines outside the church on Eastern Parkway.

watercolor by N Wait 1983

watercolor by N Wait 1983

I found shoppers examining fruit at the produce stand on Utica Avenue while the crowd surged by.

watercolor by N Wait 1983

watercolor by N Wait 1983

A man trimming vegetables on the sidewalk of Utica Avenue.

watercolor by N Wait 1983

watercolor by N Wait 1983

And then I found a woman going inside the pizza shop while another woman waited outside with her children.

Then, just as suddenly as they had begun, my appetite for street scenes came to a halt. I went back to my inner life.

The very next drawings in the sketchbook were about the shadow-self and the dream-self.

watercolor by N Wait 1983

watercolor by N Wait 1983

watercolor by N Wait 1983

watercolor by N Wait 1983

8th St just off 7th Av by N Wait 2015

8th St just off 7th Av by N Wait 2015

And now, all these years later, I’ve gone back to drawing street scenes. This time of Park Slope, where I live now. My inspiration was the Sketchbook Project.

Because I see now I’m not happy unless I’m serving both, outer and Inner…

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About Nancy Wait

Nancy Wait is an artist a writer, a writing coach/editor, and author of the memoir "The Nancy Who Drew, The Memoir That Solved A Mystery." She is a former actress (stage, film and TV) in the UK under the name of Nancie Wait. She hosted the blog talk radio show "Art and Ascension," and more recently, "Inspirational Storytellers." Nancy is currently at work on the sequel to her memoir, "The Nancy Who Drew the Way Home," to be published in 2017.
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