I could tell it was a rainy day outside — not because I was watching the rain beat down onto the windows, but because the boy’s hair was soaked. He had just walked in from the outdoor downpour in a hoodless jacket that left his hair exposed to the elements. His curly locks stuck to his head, particularly flattened at the crown and down the back. If dry, his hair would only likely skim the collar of his oxford shirt; however, due to the saturating effects of the rain on hair, the boy’s locks tumbled down lower than usual.
The thinner ends near the nape of his neck, around his ears, and those brushing his forehead had already dried off, frizzing up as they recoiled. By some perplexing combination of genetics, hair layering, and just the right amount of rainwater, his curls were both wispy and thick at the same time.
Hair at the crown of his head was a dark chestnut brown, almost black underneath near the roots, due to the hair’s tendency to appear darker when wet. It gradually became lighter as it spread toward the ends, his natural color being a light, ashy brown with subtle undertones of red.
It is not clear whether it was the rain and wind or his hairstyle that made him look as though he had a slight side-bang, which gently swept over his right eyebrow. If it had simply been the weather disheveling his hair, though, I feel as though he would have brushed it away; instead, the tousled hair remained there, the ends blending into the rest of his locks.
As it continued to dry in the artificial heat of the indoors, the boy’s hair went from slick and verging on greased-looking to puffy and flouncy, almost reminding one of a cotton ball in everything but color. This puffiness gave the hair a fluffy consistency and an almost translucent appearance. It was then that the boy began attempting to brush the ever-expanding hair away from his eyes and behind his ears. He shook his head, loosening some of the strands out from creeping underneath his collar.
I’ve really enjoyed all of my experiences jotting and writing field notes thus far. As an artist, I find it to be a great deal like sketching: focusing on a subject, a space, etc; gathering sensory information and detail; translating that from eyes to pen and paper; and comparing the image (whether literal or figurative) to what is truly in front of me.
Thankfully, because of this experience, jotting came fairly naturally to me and I did not feel uncomfortable staring at people for extended periods of time. I do think I can improve on my observations, however, by focusing more on spacial information; as of right now, I’ve been concentrating mostly on people’s appearances and their interactions with the spaces they’re in, but not so much the spaces themselves.
Going forward, I also plan to take photos to supplement my jottings, so as to turn them into more detailed field notes.