It is not often one encounters an artist on the street happily painting along. We are a curious sight to see no doubt, and often times people are not so sure what the heck we are doing. While out painting last week I had a conversation with another artist about plein-air musings. Our conversation drifted to what the curious onlooker most often comments on while we artists are out in the field. So, I thought that I would re-post and update my findings from a post back in 2008, since I find this topic a source of great enlightenment for the non-painter and humorous for the painter alike. I have listed them in order of the least common comments starting from #10 to #1. And of course, this is totally meant to be tongue in cheek humor so take no offense! Your comments are encouraged here as I may have missed a few top-notchers.
#10. Can I look?
#9. How long did that take you to paint?
#8. I used to paint a little bit too, but I don't have the time anymore.
#7. You missed that tree (mountain, bridge, cloud, fill in the blank) over there.
#6. What are you painting?
#5 That's really nice, do you sell your work?
#4. "Wow, that looks great!" as they are approaching my work from the backside, unseen.
#3. I can't even draw a straight line.
#2. Are you an artist?
and finally, the top most stated conversation topic...
#1. My aunt Betty (uncle, grandma, sister, or other relation) paints too, and he/she is really good.
And then there are the not so funny moments...
Once I was out painting with 3 other artists at a high level lookout, viewing our beautiful painting subject, Mount Hood. I had been concentrating so much on my work that I didn't even hear the tour bus full of travelers drive up. I was completely startled when a loud voice 6 inches from my ear say loudly "Wow! Are you an artist?" I was so startled that I screamed! Scary. So it is with this profession.
What would you ask? Are you the curious sort? Me too.