Mary agreed to pose for a photo shoot to raise awareness about breast cancer. The catch was that she would heroically have to expose her breasts. Mary and Joseph (her ex husband) agreed I could come along to sketch. The photographer, Angela Marrocco, told us to meet her where they rent canoes on the Wekiva river. I arrived first and sat back on a bench to watch a few tourists relaxing near the river drinking beers and soaking up the sun. It was a beautiful day. Joe and Mary arrived and we discussed the logistics. Since there would be four of us, we would need two canoes. The women would go in one canoe and the men in the other. Once Angela arrived, she quickly rented her canoe and she and Mary headed down to the docks.
I used the digital device on the bar to try and rent the second canoe but got lost in the multiple forms. When asked to sign my name, I did it at first with a real pen before realizing I needed to use a stylus. By the time Joe and I got to the dock, the women were already paddling down river. Joe had never been in a canoe before. We jumped in and started paddling but we discovered we were still tied to the dock. Before long, we were working as a team picking up speed.
I had only seen two canoes in the time I spent waiting for folks to arrive. When the photographer found a cove where she could shoot Mary in the canoe, there were suddenly a dozen canoes crowded in the narrow river. I tried to get close to a tree that was overhanging the river. I figured if we anchored to that, I might be able to sketch the women in the other canoe. As I struggled with branches, I saw the photographer shoot several shots of Mary who had slipped her dress top down to her waist. Dang, I didn't even get the sketchbook out yet! When Joe and I were finally secured against the tree, the women paddled back out into the river looking for another photogenic spot. I sighed and we followed.
For the next shot we all got out on dry land. There was an old worn out boardwalk set up in case of floods. Mary picked some ferns from the base of a thick tree trunk and used them to hide her face for the photo. She was a bit self conscious since she was visible to anyone paddling by in a canoe. The photographer worked quickly. I sketched as fast as I could. The photos were shot and my sketch was barely blocked in. For once I would have to finish the sketch in the studio.
Joe and I struggled to help the women launch their canoe. On the trip back, Mary was surprised by a branch and she fell back in her canoe with a thud. I'm amazed neither canoe capsized with all the activity.