'Standing Prior Green', 12x9" Pastel ©2011, Brenda Boylan
The weather has been teasing us Oregonians for far too long with promising weather and finally the cloud cover broke, so outdoors to paint I went...with layers and layers of sweatshirts. Winter reminds us it is still early spring and it still gets really cold here between weather systems. I actually went out for three days straight, but my plein air work was so rusty from my winter hibernation that I'm only going to post this one piece which was from today's outing. This stand of trees is located close in my community, on the back side of a strip mall and business park. Beautiful trees of oak, ash and possibly an elm here and there make for a sensitive rendering. I have had my eye on this spot for some time for a painting destination, but finally today I actually went. Now that I've been there, it's so convenient that it may be considered my second favorite place to paint. Sauvie Island is my first.
So, I have to share this conversation I had with a gentleman I met at a birthday party this past weekend.
In the usual flow of chit-chatty conversation, people eventually end up asking what you do for a living. When I am asked this question, I blurt out my elevator spiel and everyone should know by then, golly, that I am an artist.....but has anyone ever asked you 'What do artist's do?' Yes, I was asked this in a most direct and serious manner and I thought, 'Yes, finally someone wants to understand all that we do besides painting perty pictures all day long." OK, I'm being a tiny bit sarcastic here, but really, this was a great question for anyone to ask of an artist.
Artists do a lot of different things. We do accounting, advertising, marketing, inventory, cleaning, assembling, analyzing (critiquing), communication, purchasing, and the occasional entertaining...oh, and don't forget the painting...yes, the best part. Our conversation was a healthy one at that, because I got to understand what he does (he's an engineer), and he explained clearly and simply what engineers do. It's fascinating to learn in depth about others' careers, but even more so important to explain the unusual life's work of an artist, and it ain't all perty pictures. What do you do for a living and how do you explain to others what you get to do?