Fear makes excuses...
As always, I'm going to be real with you. I have been talking about painting on location for a long time now. Why? Because cooking in the woods requires a different set of skills and mindset than cooking in a gourmet kitchen. I'm looking to broaden my creative skill set in a social environment, gain exposure, practice talking about my paintings to strangers, and I believe if you can create outside of your cave, you can create anywhere.
What have I been waiting for? Well, I told myself... not enough time... my website is outdated... my Patreon page isn't launched yet... I don't have business cards... I don't think I have the best supplies I need to paint outside of my studio... yada dada. The truth is those were all just excuses driven by fear of doing something I'm not already good at yet. It takes courage to do something new in front of an audience.
It took talking about it with my brother, a natural performer and artist. He asked me to paint in public and tell him all about it later as his birthday present. :) So, I agreed! The day came and I had all of my excuses! So I worked on checking some of them off, I finished my website and Patreon page. I gathered all of the supplies I thought I needed and I drove 20 minutes to a park in Del Mar just before the sunset. The weather was overcast, cold, and windy. I sat in my car... thinking how cold it was. I nearly convinced myself it wasn't worth the effort and I'd do it tomorrow morning.
Then, as I was thinking about how I hated letting my brother down, I saw a couple moms walking up from the cold windy beach in shorts! I thought if they can walk around in shorts, I have zero excuse to get out and paint right now. So I did. I gathered all of my supplies, walked myself down to the beach, and began setting up shop.
The set up was great! My portable easel went up fast, I had all of my paints and brushes in the drawer, I had a small recycled jar and a bottle of water for rinsing brushes, and my homemade glass pallet with glass scraper for easy cleanup. The difficult part was definitely racing the sun, painting an evolving subject, and strange eyes watching. That alone made mixing colors and laying strokes more difficult. There were people migrating over to take a look at my painting. None of them stopped me to make conversation until I was putting everything away. A man and his daughter approached and inquired about the painting. They were very excited to see an artist at work.
Even though the painting didn't turn out or even get close to looking like it could if I spent more time on it, I feel a need to do it again! Next time, no excuses! After all, the goal wasn't to create a beautiful painting, it was to broaden my creative skill set in a social environment! Which i did. It was also to gain exposure, which I didn't...haha oh well, next time I'll have cards with my website on it. This was also an exercise to become more comfortable talking about my paintings to strangers, and to practice painting outside of my cave. So, I'm going to call this a success. :) Happy Bday Bro!
I love stories, people, discovering new mediums to play with, and music.