Members of our Honolulu gallery are often invited to participate in art fairs and public activities. Sometimes it’s fun to just show up and paint something to see what the general public makes of it.
I no longer have a problem with working while people watch…a decade of painting in Central Park got me over that. People are usually decent, and the occasional coots, codgers and malcontents are really little crash-courses in diplomacy. Over the years I’ve learned to enjoy the responses from people looking over my shoulder, trying to figure out what on earth I’m doing.
Jeff Chang oil on panel , 10 x 8″
In this particular event, artists were assigned a space on a shaded pedestrian mall, and I, with my intention of painting something from life, happened to have the esteemed potter/entrepreneur Jeff Chang across from us doing his demonstration.
Since Jeff was in the sunlight, doing something interesting, and holding fairly still, he was fair game for this two hour sketch.
Surprisingly, only a certain percentage of people were able to look at my painting and connect it with what was actually in front of us physically. I don’t know why that is, but it’s interesting. Probably something to do with our modern tendency towards a life predominated by second-hand visual experiences (television, print media, and computers), rather than looking and seeing the world directly.
Anyway, I came away with this small piece from the experience, and some good will from some delightful new acquaintances.