A kind artist on the train

I was traveling on a local train with my husband and our bicycles. It was the start of a week-long cycle tour of Suffolk. The Saxmundham train was a busy train. We sat at a table opposite a gentleman who was engrossed in sketching passengers on the train. My husband turned to me and said “You usually do that, why not do the same now?” I quietly explained that I had forgotten to pack my sketchbook and will have to get one. The gentleman overhead the conversation, and dipped into his bag and pulled out a brand new, Moleskin sketchbook still in its cellophane wrapper and gave it to me.

Then my husband turned to me and offered to go and get my pencil case from my bicycle. I shook my head and again whispered, “in our rush to leave the house to catch the train, I let it behind”. Again, instantly without looking up, the gentleman dived into his bag and pulled out a brand new sketching pen.

Grateful, I thought I'd better get started. I quickly drew a portrait of the gentleman. We were very soon at his point of departure. He told me to keep the sketchbook and pen. We had a brief chat where I told him how to paint landscapes in watercolour in extreme cold weather by adding a drop of alcohol to the water to stop it from freezing. He asked my name as he stood to leave and shook my hand. As he did so he said, "always have sketching materials on you". I asked for his name - it turns out – he is a famous cartoonist and illustrator and a really nice chap. I am still using the sketchbook and I cannot express how grateful I am to him.

Anonymous
Great Yarmouth, UK

A kind artist on the train

I was traveling on a local train with my husband and our bicycles. It was the start of a week-long cycle tour of Suffolk. The Saxmundham train was a busy train. We sat at a table opposite a gentleman who was engrossed in sketching passengers on the train. My husband turned to me and said “You usually do that, why not do the same now?” I quietly explained that I had forgotten to pack my sketchbook and will have to get one. The gentleman overhead the conversation, and dipped into his bag and pulled out a brand new, Moleskin sketchbook still in its cellophane wrapper and gave it to me.

Then my husband turned to me and offered to go and get my pencil case from my bicycle. I shook my head and again whispered, “in our rush to leave the house to catch the train, I let it behind”. Again, instantly without looking up, the gentleman dived into his bag and pulled out a brand new sketching pen.

Grateful, I thought I'd better get started. I quickly drew a portrait of the gentleman. We were very soon at his point of departure. He told me to keep the sketchbook and pen. We had a brief chat where I told him how to paint landscapes in watercolour in extreme cold weather by adding a drop of alcohol to the water to stop it from freezing. He asked my name as he stood to leave and shook my hand. As he did so he said, "always have sketching materials on you". I asked for his name - it turns out – he is a famous cartoonist and illustrator and a really nice chap. I am still using the sketchbook and I cannot express how grateful I am to him.

Anonymous
Great Yarmouth, UK

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