Oil Sketch: Donna
I went to Punta Gorda VAC Portrait Studio this morning and I did a full profile. As a matter of fact, the profile was an accident, not the way I meant to paint the portrait in the first place. In the beginning, I set my easel at an angle of about 45 degrees. However, when I was back from my trip to the storage to get some paper towel, my view was blocked. A gentleman who tried to make room for a lady artist had moved into the line of my vision.
He was a real gentleman. Almost everytime when we had a female model for the portrait session, he always offered to help her step down the footrest with a stretched arm when the time came for a break. However, this morning, his gentlmanly demeanor caused me problems and I had to relocate my easel. By then, the only place left was the side, close to the wall. I had to paint the model through the space between the wall and lamppost.
Recently this gentleman has become a pain in my ass. I don't mean that I was offended by his gentlemanliness. Of course, not. The problem is that: He was a Punta Gorda local resident. Each Thursday he was often the first one who arrived at the VAC. There was nothing wrong with coming earlier and picking a good spot to paint. Nevertheless, he always set up his easel so close to the model that he could almost count the freckles on the model's face if he/she had any. In a professional studio everybody has to keep a distance of around 12 feet from the model so that more people are able to see and paint. In FGCU painting class, 20-30 people had only one model and we had to think of other people. When this gentleman and some other early birds set their easels like that, they limited usable space in the room because in a fanning projection, they blocked enormous space behind them out of vision.
Interestingly, he didn't paint from the model. I noticed most of the time he took pictures of the model with his camera first and then painted from the camera. Most people took pictures with camera because they wanted to add more details when they went home and the model was no more available. It didn't bother me if someone wanted to paint from his camera while the real model was yards away, strange to me, though. What bothered me was the fact that, sometimes, after break, while everybody was ready to resume painting, the gentleman would stand either in front of, or by the side of, the model and keep chatting with him or her. Last week, I reminded him: "Excuse me..., but everybody is ready to resume." He was so concentrated on talking that he didn't hear me or other artists' laughing but kept chatting. One of the artists laughed and said to me, "You should have yelled at him." When his talk was finally over, the model apologized to us. Could you believe there are people who could be so self-centered?
Before I left VAC today, I ran into Michele, who thanked me for my donation of the John Sargent's replica. I talked to her about what had happened and made some suggestions. No matter how much professionalism we needed at VAC, we had to have some courtesy and think of others. She agreed to see to it.
Jon in Class
Harley, Kevin, and Carl
The two sketches above are what I did in last week's painting class.