Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Paul Alexander hired me to do a sketch at The Rusty Spoon, (55 W Church St, Orlando, FL) on Saturday December 4th. A party of about 30 people were going to gather for dinner for the first time. Paul knew of my work because of a sketch I did at a City Beautiful Church concert at the Lake Eola Band shell and the kind recommendations of talents like Aradhana Tiwari, Cole Nesmith and Holly Harris.
The group gathering was known as Cru. They are an international ministry with members coming from Africa, the Netherlands, Asia, Australia and Europe. The person that Paul most wanted me to catch was Ken who had 25 years experience leading a Cru group in Asia. Paul is in charge of Digital Strategies which utilizes social media to promote the groups message to the world.
I was the first to arrive at the rusty spoon. The woman who greeted me at the door knew what I was up to cause she said, "Oh, you must be the caricature artist." I cringed a bit since I'm not a caricature artist, but I let it pass. She went to get the waiter, who knew more about the large group I was going to sketch. He lead me to the back of the Spoon where four tables were reserved for the party. The waiter, who also thought I was a caricature artist, let me sit in an empty booth that thankfully didn't have a table. I had plenty of room to work. I started blocking in the perspective of the place. Raw old fashioned Edison bulbs illuminated the scene.
Paul and Anne Alexander arrived as did my wife Terry. She spoke to the couple for a while and then went to watch the football game at the bar. Paul and Anne love this restaurant, although Anne lamented that the art work never changes. I have to admit that it is a bit odd having pigs, goats and cows staring at you from the walls, especially if you eat meat. People arrived and mingled. Then as each person took a seat, I quickly placed them in the sketch.
Amazingly, the sketch was done when everyone finished dinner. Some people wandered over to see what I was up to. One jovial fellow from Africa asked where he was. He must have been way back at the fourth table because I hadn't sketched him. He said, "Your sketch is fine, bot it is incomplete without me." Even Paul is hidden from view since his wife is seated in front of him. I managed to keep Ken clearly in focus although a late arrival sat in the corner seat blocking my line of sight toward Ken most of the dinner. I had to move and reduce the size of this person to keep Ken visible in the sketch. It is fascinating how much can be altered and recreated while still keeping a believable document of an important event. I didn't have time to eat or drink, but Paul told me the food at the Rusty Spoon is delicious. With the sketch done, I rushed off to the Kerouac House for a pot luck dinner.