Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Rebecca in the Sun 2" 11 x 14, figure, pastel, $200.00

"Rebecca in the Sun 2"  11 x 14, figure, pastel
I have quite a few friends who have spent much of their adult life working in the tourist industry.  My brother for example has been a balladeer at Colonial Williamsburg for somewhere around 20 years.  I have been a sketch artist at amusement parks or working in the time share industry as an artist for 30. Now my son works in time shares and comes to me with his amusing tales.  In fact, both of my kids have come to work with me at resorts since they were babies, so they have been trained for this profession since birth.  It is not an easy life. When you are having a bad day you still have to put on that smile mask and be polite to strangers.  You have to bury your anger towards your coworker, or boss, or ex-husband, or the little screaming kid who just got cotton candy in your hair, and pretend like you are happy to see these Hawaiian shirted people from New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. These visitors often ask the same questions over and over again and it can get exhausting.  The visiting masses usually mean well, but it is hard to pretend like this for 8 or more hours a day.

Don't get me wrong, I obviously still love people and  have no regrets about my past career choices, but when I saw this young lady sitting on the stairs in costume, on "stage", as we used to call it at Busch Gardens, I knew there was more to her story than just looking pretty.  She was grasping her mug tightly and looking out into the passing crowds with an unreadable expression. Something deeper was on her mind than just soaking up the sun. I could relate. With her permission I snapped a few photos and have so far completed two pieces from these images.  This is the second one.  I may try a third soon.

It is for this reason that I have continued on with my series of Colonial Williamsburg Docents when normally I would have become bored with it long ago.  Yes, these folks depict colonial life in a tourist town where people want to buy colonial themed art, but also for the first time in my life  I am not in that position.  I can empathize and relate to them from a distance as the tourist, not as the touron.

I used Canson Mi-teintes paper with a warm ochre tint to it.  Usually I use the smooth side, which is like working on vellum, but this time I flipped the paper over and used the highly textured side.  The purpose for this is that you can see the color of the paper peek through in the little valleys, and the pastel layers skimming over the top of the hills.  Zoom in and check it out, its pretty cool.  On top of this layering I also added my own textures, often using purples and golds in place of the normal browns. I used my imagination a bit on her environment by adding the wood steps and tweaking the light to be more mystical and golden since I rarely copy a photo exactly as it appears.

I really like this drawing.

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