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My wife and resident cartoonist, Kristin, has been doing a bang-up business of late teaching painting classes all around the area. Not only has this proven to be a ton of fun for both her and her students, it's provided me with an entirely new habitat in which to take pictures. It is nothing short of amazing to see the sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic variation from one artist to the next as I wander around the classroom. And the students are usually so focused on the task at hand that I don't have to worry about them blinking, "cheesing" or dodging out when I click the shutter.
Kristin has been a bit crafty in roping me into shooting these events as she typically has me show up with about a half-hour to go. "That way," she says, "my students will be just about finished and you can get a picture of them all together before they leave."
While this has proven invariably true, I find it no small coincidence that I just so happen to be in exactly the right place when Kristin requires a "special assistant" to dole out different colored paint glops at just the right moment to her focused and eager students. This duty generally lasts right up until the moment when the she needs a hand with all of the washing up and packing out. I've dumped many a bucket of murky water down the various toilets of this town. Nevertheless, I dare not complain as the student artists generally "like" the heck out of all the photos of class I post on Kristin's Facebook page. (That's pretty much the entirety of my pay for the effort.) Furthermore, most of these jobs take place on weeknights, and what else would a pair of middle-aged marrieds do with a Thursday evening?
Last Saturday added a slightly different wrinkle as Kristin led a "painting shower" for the female half of a future wedding party in the Carriage House of the Smith Orr Homestead just a few blocks from our house. After hopping along to help Kristin get the place set up, I returned home to kick around with our teenager, Sylvia, for a few hours while the artists did their work. The kid and I were engrossed in some sort of deep (most likely) political conversation when I suddenly remembered my obligation.
"Shoot! I've got to go," I said jumping up from my chair. "I have to catch Mom at the shower to take a couple of pictures then help her get cleaned up."
Never one to allow a comic opportunity to slip innocently by, my quick-witted protg said without so much as a blink, "Eew, Dad. That's just ... eew!"
(Check out the Painting Party fun on Facebook at "Kristin Lorson Kristinart Personality Portraits.")