This pencil drawing is hanging on the wall of my dentist's office. As an artist I am sometimes amazed how people request certain types of subjects and I am then privy to the meanings behinds their requests.
I was sitting in the dental chair getting my teeth worked on when the Dentist said to me, "I heard you were an portrait artist"! I said, "Yeths", slobbering. Anyway he proceeded to request a portrait of Spider Monkeys. I was sort of squeamish in the chair at that point, pondering just who is this guy? He then told me how when he was a child there was this pet shop that carried Spider Monkeys. He was so intrigued with them and used to spend the whole time touching them through the cage, playing with them, making faces at them and their responses were so magical to him. Naturally his parents said, 'NO WAY" those things are smelly and dirty! hahahaha! He said "I so desperately wanted one and decided when I was an Adult I would definitely get one"!
So on his next trip to the pet shop he asked the attendant if he could hold one just for a minute. Her reply was, "Well if it's okay with your parents. Monkeys are highly unpredictable and they bite like hell"! His parents said, "If this will put your dreams to rest, then by all means hold a monkey"!
So the attendant took out the Monkey and went to hand him to me and the Monkey flew at me, grabbed my neck and proceeded to attack me while I was screaming. I went to pull him off my neck and he chewed the hell out of my fingers while I was screaming. He said the attendant had a hard time getting the smelly, hairy, chewing thing off of me. He said, "It gave me such post traumatic shock" that to this day I still have nightmares, my wife wakes me up laughing saying, "Uh Oh it's the monkey attack again"!
I said, I will be glad to do the portrait but why in the heck would you want that? His reply, "Every time I will look at it above my desk and remember the words spoken to me by my parents"! 'WE TOLD YOU SO"! hahahahahahahhahha! So every time I look at those horrible monkeys I will think before making an assumption. hahahhahahhaha!
On my next appointment he took me into his office, he had it framed really beautifully and was so proud of it. He adored it!
I think that is why I love being an artist, I get to know things about people that no one else knows. It truly is of a rather intimate relationship you gain with your patrons. He contacted me a short while ago to do portraits of him. I said, "Sorry I don't do portraits anymore, just pottery"! lol lol lol :)