Last weekend I participated in an Plein Air event in San Dimas. The artists had three hours to complete a painting, frame it, get it to the gallery, and be judged. No stress here (wink).
One of the reasons for plein air events is to introduce collectors to your work, interact with artists and be entertainment for the show. I love to see and catch up with old friends, students and collectors.
To be honest painting and talking don't happily coexist in my brain. At a certain point I need to shut off chatter and give my entire focus to what I'm doing. One gentleman didn't seem to understand and continued to have a rapid list of questions that had nothing to do with the painting before me. I was running out of time! After I while I put down my brush, turned around and said " I can either talk or paint, not both". He had a look of surprise. Hopefully he wasn't to offended as he walked away.
When I teach workshops it something entirely different. I am talking about everything that's happening before me…the scene, drawing, light & shadows, moisture of the paper, edges, color combinations and so much more. But every painting has a stage when you must be quiet and devote your entire attention to it.
After three hours I signed the painting, put it in a frame and got it to the gallery. When the event was over the artists collected their paintings.
This morning I pulled the painting out to have a second look. The shadows didn't have enough contrast. So I popped the painting out of the frame and went back to work. Now I'm happy.
It's our final touches (brush strokes, lines, dashes of color...) that separates our work from someone else's. You could say it's our signature marks or look. Glad I had a chance to rework the painting. As they say... "It ain't over until it's over".