A peek into a stranger’s face in the world and I see, I feel; so very heartily as their unique world utters me joy. My emotional receptors open to their happiness and I already love them. I draw their forms as I see them and then later the paint comes with these wonderful colors of love and human connection as I wish them well.

My hand follows their line and my mind fills with empathy neither sad nor dark; it’s always a pleasure to draw and then color.

My heart wants all creatures to be at peace and have beauty in their lives so the dots of pleasure dance with my paintbrush.

I purposely situate myself in open public places where people gather as I wait for the inspiration to create. A person may randomly sit near me and I begin to carefully draw their forms on my watercolor papers, gathering in the feelings of connection and empathy that present themselves to me. Sometimes I nudge my unknowing subjects and say "Hey! I just did a drawing of you... would you like to see it?"

Often, they agree; snapping a smartphone pic and smiling in gratitude. Often they ask to join me on social media inquiring to see the final painting once I have finished with the coloring later. This small transaction of love and trust opens up realms of possibility for what hues and magic I will use to finish the piece.

A peek into a strangers face and form is all I need to get that empathetic connection and, for this, I am grateful.

Susi Milne