Many thanks to the Santa Clarita Artists' Association ((http://www.santaclaritaartists.org/) for such a warm welcome this week at a portrait demo I did for the group in Valencia. There was much stimulating discussion with the artists in the room and it reminded me why I like to get out there and paint in front of people. In demo's you are flying by the seat of your pants.
Who wants to paint pearls and a cameo pin in five
minutes in front of a crowd? Not me. But sometimes that is what it comes down to as it did on this night. You simply run out of time. This demo was about one hour and fifteen minutes of actual painting time. Painting and talking about what you are doing to a crowd is a left-brain, right-brain slugfest. Sometimes you don't even know what you are saying. My husband who was present at the demo told me I repeated "That is a good question" too often. I had no idea I was doing this. And there is always that 50-50 per cent chance of a success or disaster in the immortal words of the great Helen Van Wyck, sadly no longer with us, but a brilliant painter and teacher. Let's be honest, a dud demo is as entertaining to watch as a good one!
AS I said to the assembled room, I have always been a visual learner so watching artists paint has always been the best way for me to learn. You are watching a kind of stunt though. You do not get to see the quiet finish that the artist does in his studio after weeks of painting on a project but if you can pick up that one little trick or two that makes a big difference to your painting the next day, the stunt was worth it.
All-in-all, I like flying by the seat of my pants/paints.
Pictured in group shot: L to R: SCAA member and demo co-ordinator Olga Kaczmar, Johanna Spinks, SCAA President Laurie Morgan and model/artist Teresa Hoffman. Next pic: winner of Spinks' auction painting, Helen Sarah Teller