The Simply Woman Project | Sherry Penner Photography | The Sheriff

Well if you have been following me I posted a while back about my next project, The Simply Woman Project 2019, which I started this week. I can tell you that I have struggled with this project from the first day. What inspired it to begin with was to simplify things, I felt like my Series 13 Project was huge and intensive and complicated, and at the time I was following a couple of studio photographers and seeing their very simplified studio work that is amazing and I wanted to do that too. But I have a tendency to over complicate things and as I continued to think on this next project it too became this huge/intense/complicated series of portraits…..so much so I overwhelmed myself with planning it to the point of not wanting to do it anymore.

Two things I want to achieve when I do a self directed portrait project is to learn new techniques, and to produce something I haven’t done or might want to promote and sell at the studio. This one was originally to tell the story without the elaborate background scene added in. Create a character and tell that characters story with costume/posing/lighting.

I knew I wanted to keep it simple, tell a story but keep it simple. And as I often do I went to Pinterest for some inspiration and I stumbled upon some tattoo artist sketches of women and I love that style of art so I thought I could turn that in to my portrait. Simple but not simple.

So here is the first portrait in the series: The Sheriff

The inspiration for the Sheriff comes from a series os short stories I wrote years ago. Here is the first Episode: Sheriff Sherry and the Return of a Dastardly Villain.

It’s been over a month since i came to be sheriff of Rot-Gut, Texas, a town that was so wild and dangerous only outlaws and gunslingers would call it home. In the se few short weeks, I have out drawn, out shot, out smarted every gun-tote’n, whiskey drink’n, tobacco chew’n, low life in this two bit town and I have even hanged a few. It’s a peace loving town now, where the good citizens go to church on Sunday and tip their hats to you when they meet you in the street. These last days have slowed to a crawl and I’d figured my job here was done.

Feeling a little sad, I headed down to my favourite saloon, The Single Spur, and ordered up a whiskey. “Just leave the bottle.” I told Bartender Sam. I was feeling the need to tie one on. Not many people were in the saloon on this fine afternoon, a couple gamblers, an old buffalo hunter, and Pirate Pete the Piany Player. No one knew why he was called Pirate Pete but I figured it had to do with his peg-leg, patch eye and hook hand.

Half way through a bottle of whiskey I heard the jingling of spurs on the sidewalk, a tall slim figure filled the door way bu the sun was behind him and I couldn’t make out his face. His voice, though, was unforgettable. “I hear there is a new Sheriff in town?” He came in to the saloon, a dark figure dressed in black, with two 9mm’s in his shoulder holster and a shiny six shooter resting on his right hip.

“Babyface!” I called out in recognition and went for my gun.

“Now put that pea-shooter down Sheriff, I ain’t caus’n no harm.”

I holstered my Colt 45 but rested my hand on the nice inch blade strapped to my thigh. I had had run ins with Babyface before, during my days with Mafia John we had even worked together, but Babyface was a bad bad seed and I had vowed to kill him. The fact that he was my brother mattered not. “I’ll give you two minutes to clear out of here before I shove this blade in your belly and spill your guts.”

“Now, Sis, is that any kind of a welcome. I like what you have done with the place.” He sauntered over, took the half empty bottle of whiskey and tipped it back to drain the bottle. There wasn’t even a tear in his eye when he set the bottle down. For a minute, I forgot what a dastardly villain he was and my heart filled with pride.

“What are you doing here Babyface, I thought I told you I’d kill you if I ever laid eyes on you again?”

He shrugged, “Can’t a fella change his ways?”

“Not if you are the fella.” I could see the deadly twinkle in his eye, I heard the wind whistle around the building and a tumbleweed rolled by the door. I went for my gun. He went for his. I was fast as lightning, probably faster, but so was he and we stood there staring down the barrels of each others pistols. A grin creased his lazy face and he made like he was going to holster his gun so in good faith I holstered mine and it was a deadly mistake. He flipped his gun over in his nimble fingers at the same time and brought the hand down on my head with enough force to crack my skull.

The next thing I realized I was strapped to the railroad tracks and Babyface was leaning over me. “Glad you decided to join us. The train is almost here. I wouldn’t have wanted you to miss your own execution.” He laughed as he rode away.

“I’ll get you for this Babyface.”

“In another life maybe.” He rode away. The train was getting closer.

I looked around in panic, he had tied me securely, damn him and his boyscout tricks. But he had made one mistake, he had left me my trusty mount Spirit. I whistled and she galloped over. “Spirit, untie these ropes. And she did exactly as I asked her…….


This is part of the story behind The Sheriff now here is the portrait. Next portrait is: The Viking be sure to subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss it (top of the page).

Fine art portrait photographer, central alberta, Red Deer, Blackfalds

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