I recently spent an enjoyable evening painting outside at an event called “The Baldwin Park Art Stroll”. Artists were simply asked to to set up easels or tables and spend a few hours creating their art. Most of us were outside on the sidewalk, but a few had spots assigned inside of businesses. The weather was perfect, so I’m not sure that there was an advantage to being inside for this particular event. If the weather had been inclement, would anyone have been strolling anyway? Probably not too many. As it was, there was plenty of foot traffic and most people at least paused to look and voice a positive comment. Several people watched for a while, took business cards and then returned later to see how I had progressed. I chose to work in soft pastels, because of its ease of transport and also because I can get finished looking results very quickly. My equipment was minimal. Consisting of a french easel, cigar box of pastels, pastel pencils for details, a wet rag, photo reference and velour paper as my support. I also brought along a chair, water bottle (for my comfort) and two framed pieces in the same genre as I was working. If you are an artist and haven’t tried painting in public, let me encourage you to step out and give it a try. This type of event is win/win for artists and patrons alike. Folks love to have the opportunity to watch artists create and speak with them about their process. It’s a great chance for the artist to showcase their work and talk about their passion in a no pressure setting. For me, gallery shows can feel somewhat pretentious. I prefer a more relaxed, informal setting. Also, being able to work whenever there is a loll in traffic is a big plus, because I don’t have to stand around feeling awkward with a clenched ‘gritting my teeth’ kind of smile on my face.
I’d like to hear about your experiences and preferences. Please leave a comment.