August 4, 2015 - single portrait
mariposa is a small sleepy town roadside the famous hwy 49 but downtown is cute, well preserved with many antiquites & collectables, used, art and jewelery shops, galleries and delis with homemade food. it was around noon when i arrived, parked and started strolling down main street. it was too early to go for lunch and even though i was already slightly fed up with visiting collectable stores and buying anything something caught my eye in one of the artworks shop windows. when i stepped in, a tall, elegant but old fashioned dressed man with a smart professional smile welcomed me, instantly started talking and showed me around his work with some kind of serious enthusiasm.
frank is an artist and sells candle covers made from thin wooden bark painted with ornamental patterns and butterflies, which the “heraldic animal” of mariposa. his wife, mary, who wasn’t presents this morning, creates necklaces from stone, wood and other natural material from around the area. frank was wondering why anybody came into his shop this morning except me and i informed him that he had the ‘closed’ sign still on (i even assumed that it was the sign which made me curious before, because it was the only lighted sign around).
when i asked for his portrait he, in contrary to most of the other persons i photographed, suddenly made a serious face and gave me plenty of time top adjust light and angle with patience. having his artwork in hand he wanted to look professional and somehow promotionally effective, i guess. the only thing my eye was grabbed by was the ice coincidence of the patterns on his shirt and the candle cover. i think that wasn’t intended.
in the end i purchased a candle cover and a necklace. after all, frank was one of the very few u.s. ameicans i met on my 10 days road trip through central and south california in 2009 who had no german ancestors.