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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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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
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
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.