Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!

strange kids and the county fair

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There are always strange little kids in the crowd.  The ones that are a little different and have their own unique take on things.

Some are fun, some are trying but looking back they are all amusing.

I had one little guy yesterday who wanted an arm shark (the shark painted on his arm with mouth over the thumb/finger so it’s mouth opens and closes)

The Arm Shark

The Arm Shark

He was very precise and gave me instruction, then watched intently, correcting me before I made a mistake – as you know adults are prone to them!  🙂

When I asked he said yes to glitter… he wanted red (which I didn’t have) but settled for the gold.

Then when we were done, he got out of the chair… I didn’t offer the mirror – it was on his ARM after all. But he asked for the mirror… so I handed it to him… he held it up to look at the shark and worked the mouth.  I took the mirror back and put it on the table.

I started painting the next child and he asked again if he could look in the mirror so I said “yes” and went back to painting.  The next thing I knew my mom was chasing him around the table and taking the mirror away from him.  He had taken the mirror and was leaving with it… 

His mom was laughing her head off.   He was holding the mirror up and making the shark bite but HE WASN’T EVEN LOOKING AT THE MIRROR!!

Strange kid.

Then there were the kids that stood in line for 2-3 hours and all they asked for was a flower on the cheek….?  I just can’t understand that – If I waited 3 hours I would be getting the biggest most elaborate thing I could!

My gig yesterday was at the County Fair – the County had hired me to paint for 4-hours, then their advertising in the paper said Face Painting was 11:30 – 4 p.m. so I painted until the advertised time.

We got their very early as instructed – I had a couple of conversations with the organizer and we were told to access from the south end of the building to unload and then would have to park in the public parking (this is a LONG way away) as the midway was set-up around the building.

When we arrived I drove along the north end and they had a Show & Shine parking area set-up there, the east side was wide open so I drove over to the bay doors on the east side and parked.  We went in and found someone to show us where they wanted us.  They had just put up two tables and we could help ourselves to chairs.

So, we unloaded and took the gear in.  I went out and parked the RAV a few dozen yards away practically in the trees… there were a few other vehicles parked there already belonging to “officials.”

We were in a MASSIVE complex called the Tec Centre – this hall that we were in was designed for the purpose of trade shows – and up here that means farming, forestry and oil/gas … they can set-up and operate all the giant machines in this hall – think aircraft hanger only bigger!

Things echoed…

We were very early but got ourselves set-up and people came and started to line up.  I told them we were not starting for 45 minutes… they smiled and stayed in line.  I covered my kit with towels and went to find some coffee, then strolled around checking out the prize winning pies, fruit and vegetables, crafts, sewing, art… the displays from local groups, the antique cars… basically killing time until my scheduled start time.

If I was doing Pay Per Face… well, I would have started immediately, but… I don’t get paid for starting early.

About 10 to 11 I uncovered things and got ready to go… Started a few minutes early but what the heck!!

This time, as I mentioned in my blog last week, Mom was the brush washer!  I have to say this worked out really well!  I just laid down the brushes I used, and mom washed and put them in the stand to dry.  I grabbed a new one and kept working.  I really felt faster… instead of washing the brushes as the kids approached I was able to talk them into the chair and find out what they wanted and start painting.

We figure I painted 80+ people in four and a half hours.  Using the Fast Faces display to choose from kept the choices to those I can paint quickly… I still will do other things if asked but it seems that if you put up a selection people think that is all they can choose from.  Which is good!

I just need to figure out a way to make the display panels stay up!!  They were relatively steady… until the little kids would lean onto the table top and physically hit the panels to indicate the ones they wanted, then the panels would topple over… [sigh]… I like these light panels, so much easier to carry and handle.  I have another A-frame sign but I don’t really want them on the ground and I prefer them side-by-side.  I was thinking a piano hinge would work.

Mom kept busy washing too… she treated the brushes much gentler than I do!  I think they like her better!! 😉

Most requested designs – Butterflies (oh will it never change!!!), Cheek Unicorns with Rainbows, Tigers and Skulls.

Rainbow Unicorn

Rainbow Unicorn

I had one little girl ask for a pink lizard… I had just done an arm dinosaur on her brother.  So she got a pink tyrannosaurus with lots of pink glitter and dripping blood on the teeth.

The last face for the day was a penguin.

We kept telling people that we were finishing at 4 and a lot still stayed in line even when I told them how many more were possible.  I had to announce “This is my last face” at least six times before the rest of the people waiting left.

There was another face painter there out on the midway but I did not see anything painted by her.  Mom says she saw one child in a stroller, with a pacifier in their mouth that appeared to be painted – at least, she said there was brown paint all over their face that may have been a dog/bear/cat.

Lots of kids had rainbow stripes on their arms – the clowns that were doing balloons were painting them on with foam paint brushes while the kids waited in line for balloons.  Just rainbow stripes…

We packed up and I drove the RAV right up to our tables in the building!  Other people were driving in to load up so why not!?  We were loaded up and heading for home by 4:30 and decided to go to Joey’s Only for fish and chips.

I was painted as usual, this time I was trying to emulate the dragon design on my shirt (another shirt inherited from Neil, my brother)… it was blue, red, gold, some UV yellow… had several people call it a butterfly.  Fardel and Wolfe – the colours were actually more intense after 6+ hours than they were when I applied them!

When we were finished dinner the cashier said “Let me guess, you were at the County Fair?”  She said there had been quite a few kids in with painted faces and commented on a really cute one of a frog catching a fly!  I said, “That was my work!”

DUH!  Just realized I didn’t give her my card!!!!!

Author: Shannon Fennell

Multidisciplinary artist, world traveller, make-up artist, and cheese lover. I follow a low carb lifestyle to keep my diabetes in remission. Canadian expat in the UK.

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