On a warm summer’s evening as I strolled along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, I walked past loads of street artists, with their sketching stalls all set up, catching tourists and locals alike and convincing them with easy charm and that lulling Scottish accent to sit for a portrait. Seeing so much passion for art and music on a mere street out of thousands was refreshing breath of fresh air. As I walked passed St. Gile’s Cathedral, I caught the sight of a lone painter set under a small tree with a trunk in front of him, a can of spray paint in his hand and more than a two dozen people surrounding him in a circle in awe. Here was a master at work.
Watching him work was something like out of a dream; quick, simple and fast, but lo and behold, in under fifteen minutes he produced a beautiful landscape on canvas, something that I couldn’t even conjure up in fifteen years. This man had more talent in his little finger than I had in my whole body. I was floored, just like the twenty something other people stood next to me. There was something so elegant about the way he moved from can to can from newspaper to ruler to fashion trees and lakes on canvas.
Using the simplest tools such as cardboard, paper plates and a ruler, and tiny pieces of newspaper for trees, he worked his way through a multitude of colours and bit by bit a whole world started to materialize onto the canvas that had been blank only a few minutes ago.
I watched as he finished canvas after canvas, each piece more stunning than the last and for the first time in my life, I had aching sense of sorrow for time lost. Perhaps, if I had practiced a little more, paid a little more attention to art at school or even followed up on my curiosity, then maybe one day I would’ve been able to make art as beautiful as this one. I was so entranced I went up to ask if I could buy some of his paintings and then he was at work again by his trunk and twenty minutes later he had produced these beautiful paintings for me to take home:
Seeing art in such abundance and so much talent made me want to pick up my own paint brushes and make up anything that my brain fancied. If you would like to find out more about David, the artist in question, then do check out his website: http://sprayartgallery.com/index.html. And if you happen to be on the Royal Mile yourself, then make sure you go and watch him at work. I guarantee you’ll be leaving with a painting for yourself.