Monday, June 11, 2012

Plying my trade at Opsail

This past weekend was spent down in Norfolk for the big Opsail event, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.  I had promised to attend months ago, portraying a portrait artist/miniaturist of that era.  Both days I was there with Nicole, who was demonstrating shoemaking, while Samantha was only able to join us on Sunday.

Prior to the event, I didn't really know what to expect, and had the idea that I'd simply end up talking to people about artists and miniatures during the early 19th century, but that otherwise I'd be able to wander around and visit the tall ships and fort and whatnot.

To my great surprise and delight, people were genuinely interesting in my drawing, and, most specifically, in having me draw them.  I ended up doing a fairly brisk business with the small charcoal portraits, and aside from food breaks I did almost nothing but draw portraits straight the entire weekend.  It was definitely different to be at an event in a historical vendor type of mode as opposed to strict living history, but I must say I quite enjoyed it (even though I never did get to see all the ships). 

Apparently when I draw I look rather serious... I guess that must just be my 'concentrating' face, since I was actually really happy to be doing art again!

Naturally, I didn't get pictures of all the drawings I did for people, but I did get a quick snap of the sketch I did of the scrimshaw artist/sutler who was set up just a few tents down from me and one of Samantha.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Yo ho ho!

This past Sunday I did something a bit out of the ordinary, and went with a couple friends to the annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival down in Hampton.  There was a lot of wandered around the docks, checking out the sutlers' goods, people watching, meeting and chatting with the piratical side of the reenacting world, and just generally seeing the sights.

It had been AGES since I've gone to any sort of costume-ish event where historical accuracy could be thrown to the winds... and even though I am typically a huge proponent of Things Being Done Properly, I must admit it was loads of fun.

I put together various pieces of 16th and 18th century clothing in a gloriously innappropriate manner, and topped the whole look off with an awsome red velvet embroidered vintage hat, a pair of fantasy-esque shoes I had picked up at a local boutique a several years ago, and a whole lot of eyeliner.

Mike and Samantha both wore straight up 18th century, but I think we all managed to work visually together.  ;)  Besides the pictures here, I have a bunch more in a set on flickr.

I particularly enjoy this picture of Samantha and I.  She looks so sweet and happy, while I seem almost decidedly evil...

It's hard to say whether Pirate "reenacting" will become something I'd do regularly, but it was a great way to spend the day.  And in an odd way, I'm now really excited to work on Steampunk things.  I'm planning on going to TeslaCon this fall, and am overflowing with ideas.  Once you step outsides the bounds of historicity, the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination... a deeply satisfying thought!