Following my solo art exhibition opening, I was invited back to the Chesapeake Gallery for a live painting event. You never know what will unfold just by showing up!
Leading up to the event I was quite nervous. Painting in front of people in a public place is very different from the quiet solitude of my studio. So just keeping my focus and letting the paint flow under my fingers without wondering or worrying about anyone else was an important learning. And having a friend there to help with the logistics so that I could focus on engaging with you and the painting was essential!
At the actual event, the setup such that I’d stop painting and talk with all of you who came by, so I also had to develop the capacity to be able to quickly and easily slip in and out of this creative space. Obviously I didn’t get a whole lot of painting done as compared with working in my studio, but the point of the event was to engage with you, so mission accomplished!
It could have been pretty annoying to have to engage and disengage constantly. But I actually found it motivating! The enthusiasm and inquiries from all of you viewers of the live painting and the rest of my show that was hanging up around the gallery required me to explain in words what was coming forth through my hands onto the canvas. And the evolution of how and why this particular set of paintings was created. It was an excellent exercise in learning how the work impacted you and in being to be able to talk about my work.
A really neat example of this in action is how the comments from various viewers about the piece that I was working on live influenced the piece itself. I love it when this happens, it feels like a co-creative process!
Because honestly, I see myself as the executor of the work, but not the originator. More like a curator of the many different ideas and experiences that come to me all day long and end up being expressed in paint on the canvas. Sometimes I don’t even realize the exact source of the inspiration, other times it’s very clear. Either way, it’s always an exciting combo of both clarity and ambiguity in each painting.
It was absolutely worth feeling super exposed by painting out in the open so to speak. My expanded capacities to be laser focused on multiple priorities, shift in and out of flow, assimilate real-time viewer feedback and learn how to paint on the road were definitely worth the butterflies. Such is life, right? If you’re not at least a little bit nervous, get farther outside your comfort zone!
The live painting event was lots of fun for all and I’d LOVE to do more in the future, so if you would like some live painting at your personal life or corporate business event, call me and we’ll create that together!!