Monday, December 5, 2016

"A Sketch Artist, A Court Room And... A Wedding!"

Really a cool concept...
I received my courtroom/ wedding sketch nicely framed by the Pineapple Gallery when I visited Carol Hallock and Tanya Firmin Dischler's art show. I am hoping to set up a photo thing with the wedded couple, me, the Hamilton's, and, of course, the artwork, but coordinating everyone for these photo sessions most times just isn't logistically possible.

Well, it all started about a month ago. A young couple arrived at my booth at the Three Rivers Art Festival  and ask if I had any experience as a courtroom reporter. When I told them that I did and could send them samples of my work, they immediately recruited me to illustrate their wedding like a reporter would, as a keepsake. After explaining that they didn't want to lose control of their wedding to either side of the family, they decided since the groom was a budding divorce lawyer, that taking their vows and exchanging the rings in front of a judge in the local court house would be a pretty novel idea.

I did too, but I had no idea what was expected of me on their wedding day. To a certain degree, I should have taken more control of the proceedings. I was not aware of exactly where the judge and the couple had to be to make the best use of the scene. Unbeknownst to me, traditionally the bride is to stand or kneel on the left side of the groom. Had I known that ahead of time I would've place myself on the other side of the judge's stand. I wanted to position myself where I could get the bride's face and gown and leave the groom, who was visually easier to draw sporting a straw hat and a well groomed beard, in profile. 

I should have explained my concern and asked for their patience in order to transport my easel and supplies to the other side of the judge's stand, but I just didn't want to impose myself upon the couple in that way. I am positive that they wouldn't have had a problem with my request even though they seemed a bit nervous about the whole idea and now, just wanted to get it done.

The ceremony was to start at 2pm, but the couple was twenty minutes late. While waiting for their arrival, I spent some time conversing with the judge.

"Sir, I asked, just how long does the vows and ring exchange usually take before you announce a couple man and wife?"

"Oh, probably not more than two minutes or so," he blithely commented.

"Two minutes? You're kidding?" I asked. "Man, I'm a pretty good artist, but I can't draw that fast!"

"Well, maybe we can pose for you, a bit!"

If the vows took five minutes, I'd have been surprised. When the ceremony was over, the couple turned to me and asked to see what I had completed. I showed them what I had and begged for a few minutes more. The three granted my request. As I continued to struggle within that time frame on what I considered a botched drawing, many of those in the wedding party including the guards came behind me looking over my shoulder complimenting my every move. I seemed to feel better about the sketch with every passing minute.    

Although I had him sketched to my satisfaction, it didn't take long for the groom to get fidgety... about ten minutes. I hastily laid in some tone with the side of my Prismacolor pencil and declared the sketch complete and as the party raced toward the door, the groom turned back towards me and said,"It looks great!" "Can you get it framed for us?"

Copyright 2016/Ben Bensen III

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