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Thursday, September 11, 2014

FIVE AND ONE HALF - Chapter 4


By the time we met for her next sitting I had the canvas stretched, primed and the background done.  

It took me two weeks to finish the painting and I wasn’t too satisfied with it although it wasn’t that bad.  

When it was finished I took it to school and let the teacher see it and she was quite pleased with it. When I gave the portrait to the girl she was really excited and the rest of the day she was showing it to the other girls.  

She asked me how much she owed me and I told her I would like to get my costs back which were twenty five dollars for the oils, frame, and canvas. She said to come over this evening and her father would pay me.  

Since I needed the money I went and her mother opened the door and said; “My, you are small. Jessie said you were but I thought she was kidding me.” 

This embarrassed me but I didn’t let on and said, “It’s true I’m small but if you like the painting then you can get a full size artist to repaint it in a larger size.”  

She realized she had embarrassed me and set about to apologized by saying; “I’m sorry but most of Jessie’s friends are six foot or taller and I was taken off guard when I saw you. How tall are you anyway?”  

“I’m five foot and one half inch; I mustn’t forget the half inch should I.

She smiled and said, “By all means, you have to count that too.”  

Jessie’s father showed up and asked me in. I had enough embarrassment for one visit so I told them I had to go, it was nice meeting them and turned and left.  

I decided I didn’t need the money after all.  Later I realized that I couldn’t allow hurt feeling keep me from being paid money I needed but I couldn’t go back there now and ask for it.  

Since our school is large I was able to avoid Jessica until Wednesday when she caught up with me and said she was sorry if her mom insulted me and here was a check for the painting. 

I saw it was for a hundred dollars but those feelings of inferiority came over me and I thought they were trying to pay me a lot extra to alleviate some feelings of guilt they might have.  

I told her, “No; I don’t want it, because small people aren’t worth being paid for what they do.”  

She got mad at what I said and tore the check up and said she was going to do the same to the picture when she got home.  

She went on relating that she wished the school art teacher hadn’t talked her into getting me to work in oils and she was going to tell her so. With that she turned and left.

Boy that was news. The teacher had been trying to get me to do some portraits but I didn’t want to do them because of having to please the people I would be painting.  

She had managed to get me to paint by using Jessie as a go between.  

 
While thinking about this whole mess an idea occurred to me.
 
I should begin to paint portraits but I should paint them the way people want to look instead of the way they do look.

 

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