Last weekend, I had a wonderful opportunity to be able to do live portrait sketches at the United Special Sportsman Alliance Summerfest Event held in Pittsville, WI. This was kind of a summer camp for children with special needs, offering them various outdoor activities like archery, fishing, kayaking, paddleboats, horseback riding, and crafts.
And every event was free. Many vendors came from different places to volunteer their time and resources to be a blessing to hundreds of disabled and special needs children. This was a place where they felt welcomed, special, and not alone.
So I set up my tent Friday morning, and started sketching portraits around 9am. Instead of doing the sketches on a first come first served basis like I usually do, most of the sketches were by appointment. This allowed the people to go and enjoy the day, and then come back at time they were scheduled.
I must have sketched about 50 faces between Friday and Saturday morning, each one taking about 10-15 minutes.
One portrait that stood out in my mind was of a African American boy, about 14, with down’s syndrome. Although mostly non-verbal, he exuded charm. He would lift his eyebrows up and down and wink at me, in a completely innocent yet seemingly flirtatious way.
Since the portraits were set up mainly by appointment, people that walked by and wanted one done had to be fit in the schedule. There was a girl who would not be deterred. She kept coming back several times, even though I was busy with the appointment sketches, that when I had the smallest window of opportunity, I fit her in. She reminded me of the persistent widow in the Bible, who kept demanding justice until the judge relented. And that of course, was Jesus’ parable to illustrate the God will answer prayer…if we do not give up.
I truly enjoyed doing these live portraits, and now that my wrist is fully recuperated, I can type up this blog post with ease!
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