Today I painted en plein air for the first time in California. I had an outdoor easel and an artist umbrella. Typically for Bay Area, the moment you bring a white umbrella to the beach, the sun disappears and the fog comes in. I enjoyed painting anyway.
I was standing close to a trail on a cliff overlooking a south part of Fitzgerald Beach. Most passersbys said “Hi!” People were nice; nobody disturbed me when I was actually painting. After years of painting in Art School with 15-30 people around, I’m not shy about working in public. Sometimes I also draw sketches at coffee shop. I can tune out anywhere.
The moment I stepped back from the easel, different conversations started. Children asked questions about my “stuff”. Their parents made comments. A few people took pictures. Some asked me about the history of the area. A couple of Russian guys made a joke that they wanted to be my students. One promised to write a poem my painting.
Who knew that a palette and a brush could be such icebreakers.