Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Portraits from the Animal Kingdom

These are some of my watercolor paintings - titled "Portraits from the Animal Kingdom" - that premiered at this year's Small Press Expo (SPX). They're mostly based on the various customers who stiffed me at my waitering job.

Long story short: if I get bad feelings about a customer I sketch them quickly, capturing as much as I can of their character. Then, whatever tip they left me - if they left me anything at all - and their attitudes along with my disposition determined if the sketch of them evolved into a greater piece.

This is the first time I've ever done this and found it to be rather cathartic - to say the least. :)

(I have sketches of the two other guys she was with. Basically these were three Italian twenty-somethings who came to New York City to shop, as their assorted shopping bags suggested. They barely spoke any English, which proved problematic. But I guess shopping is a universal language as opposed to tipping.)

(This is only painting not based on an actual person. It's based on a sketch. I liked the design and felt it fit in well with the others.)

(They didn't eat some food and wanted a discount, which is pretty reasonable. I explained to them that it was totally dependent on the managers. And lucky me, the manager on duty only gave them a slight deduction. The couple said they understood and didn't blame me for any of the trouble. I guess the long conversation and jokes time weren't enough. They left me less than a 10% tip and thanked me for everything.

PS. They're hair was actually this funky.

PPS. FYI, that's a man comforting a woman.)

(This lady didn't stiff me but was such a nuisance, along with two of the other three women she was with, that I sketched the three. Though they complained about the apparently sub-standard quality of their lunches and their veritable shopping list general dislikes, they left me a good tip. Unfortunately the good tip didn't wash away the ill feelings.)

I made a few other paintings that weren't printed for various reasons. I'll get those up here, so keep an eye out for them.

© Frank Reynoso, Oct. 2008, All Rights Reserved

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