I decided to wear shorts today but realized I had forgotten to bring a belt, so I stopped at Meijer and bought one. I arrived at the venue spot (my tent) about 9:30 AM and unloaded the van and set up the display area and the working area in the tent. I changed my working area to try to make it a little darker and hung a drape over the door to the storage area to hide more of my junk, I got everything ready to open by around 10:30 AM.
I decided to set out all of my pastels on a card table so I would be ready for someone wanting a pastel portrait. While attempting to arrange them on the card table, I accidentally knocked a tray of pastels onto the ground. I spent the next half hour picking up and placing the pastel sticks (many more of them now broken) back in their places. Since I never actually did any pastel work, this all was wasted effort (but better to be prepared).
Since I was expecting Marissa, my contact at the Griffins, soon for her portrait, I decided not to take the time to find a lunch and just eat three snack bars to hold me over. Marissa showed up for her portrait about 1:30 PM. She decided to have a charcoal done and so I proceeded. I placed two lights on the wall forming the storage area on my left, her right, in an effort to get a single point strong enough to see a light side and dark side on her face. I soon noticed that the stronger highlights were actually coming from incidental light filtering in from over my right shoulder so I turned off my lights and proceeded using that incidental light source. It worked well and the portrait was a success, however I took some photos to use for final details because Marissa had to attend to a scheduled conference call.
I was about to download Marissa's photos to the computer so that I could finish her portrait when a young man, Kendel, who was working in the arena to install the ice for the hockey season, stopped by. After discussing my project with him, and seeing Marissa's portrait, he wanted a charcoal portrait as well. Although he was on his lunch break and only had half an hour of time, we started it. I tried my lights again on him and by this time the tent was in the shade and the lights were effective. I was nearly finished when he said he needed to get back to work, so I took some photos and let him go. He seemed impressed with the drawing.
I downloaded the photos into the computer and was about to finish them when two woman stopped to inquire about my project and were excited to have their portraits done. The older woman decided that they wanted oil portraits and that she would be first and the other woman, she said was her baby sister, would wait and be next. When I told her that the oil portraits may take as long as two hours she decided they would have charcoals done now and would come back for oil portraits later when they had the time. The older lady told me she would like to have her children painted as well and that they were both models for Sears catalogs (a four year old girl and a two year old boy). The woman was a round faced, blond with interesting features and was fun to draw. She seemed to love the finished sketch, but I took a photo to use for details. She told me that her sister would benefit from the portrait because she has self esteem problems. Her sister (?) was a 13 year old African-American girl who looked 20 but yet was attractive and interesting to draw. It didn't take long to realize that she was not able to hold a pose because she kept dropping her head so it would take longer than it should to finish it. I took a photo right away, because I doubted this would go very long. After about a half hour, I decided that she no longer was able to sit still and told her I would let her go and finish it from the photo. She liked the drawing of both herself and her sister (?).
After talking with several other people who were interested in my project but not able to participate today, I started to pack up and left for my home away from home slightly after 8 PM.
My hosts live in Jenison, only about 15 or 20 minutes from downtown. Patty and Pete are short time empty nesters. Their last one goes to Grand Valley and just moved out recently. They are a very interesting, intelligent couple who told me to make myself at home and that they intend to feed me whenever I'm there. They are very accommodating and considerate of my special foibles. They also have been promoting my project to their family, friends, and neighbors. I'm very much enjoying my stay here. I am still pondering what I can do for them in partial repayment.