I tried a new thing today. Trying new things is good in that it gives me exercise in facing fear and helps me know that I am not yet an old dog, because old dogs cannot learn new tricks. Today I face painted.
This was a volunteer job – I could have chosen other activities to oversee but there is just something in me that never quits wanting to be artistic. So I volunteered to do a shift at the face painting table and gave myself a week to figure out how to do it. Thank God for the internet. There is a nice lady who has done quite a few videos on face painting and I spent an hour watching her talk about it. It helped even though I would rather have watched her DO it on faces. There are people who make their living painting on people, which is really kind of unbelievable when you consider that the paint always gets washed off relatively soon.
It’s kind of a big deal when you know you’re going to hold someone’s face in your hand and attempt to paint a picture on it. You have to get really close to this person (this is where the phrase “in your face” actually has some meaning). No one likes to sit still for very long so it’s got to look like whatever it’s supposed to be on the first try. And you must deal with the person as well as deal with the paint. Both can be challenging. Often I was able to talk children into the picture I knew I could paint – say a star, or a flower.
The boys were the hardest since not many of them ask for stars or flowers. “I want to be Spider Man” he said. I looked at him for a long, awkward time and then referred him to a book of faces on the table. I have to confess I do not know what Spider Man’s face looks like – at all. He found a picture of a red face with web-like lines and evil eyes that really looked more like a devil than a spider but I decided if he liked it I could do some modifications. I’m not one for making small children into devils. He ended up being very red and webby and evidently it bore some resemblance to the arachnid hero because he was quite pleased. Boys like dolphins too. I was also asked to do a snake on an arm which I did in a beautiful periwinkle blue with black stripes. Boys will be boys.
Mommies get their faces painted too. They sometimes have to show their children that it doesn’t hurt and that it is cool. One Dad had his bald head painted. It was a pumpkin. I couldn’t help thinking what a wonderful canvas he made. I’m not sure this would be my choice for a profession, but I did get an inquiry as to whether I could do a birthday party next week. That at least makes face painting an easier job than selling Mary Kay. I’m just sayin’ maybe I will order some paints of my own….