Mike Barr Art Blog
Painting in front of others is a problem for most of us, particularly early on in our painting life. I just know as you read this you have a story to tell on this point! Some cannot even paint in front of family members let alone strangers, but there are benefits in being able to do so.
I remember the first time I was determined to do it during a craft sale at a low-key country show. I had my easel all ready to go and paints were packed in anticipation, but when the time came I just coudn't do it! The spell was broken a few years later when I had my own little stall at on outdoor art day in a city square. It was a quiet affair but there was hardly a minute when someone wasnt watching me work - it completely cured me of being afraid to paint to an audience, as casual as it was.
Generally speaking, people enjoy watching artists at work, despite the artist's own perception of how well they can or can't paint. I really enjoy watching other artists paint, as do most other artists. It's what we do and we like watching others do it to - it's just how we are.
So, what are the benefits of plunging into public painting?
Firstly, it's a great confidence booster. It was for me anyway. I tended to fiddle around less and just get on with it. But, there are more benefits than this.
Being able to paint in front of others will release you into the world of outdoor painting without any fear attached to it! People may come over to see what you are doing and perhaps even engage in conversation. It will be something you may learn to enjoy as part of working outdoors and it will all add to 'getting your name out there' if that is what you desire.
Volunteering to do demonstration paintings at art shows for instance is a great way to promote your work. You get to meet art buyers and you will also network with other artists to, who will really wish they were there painting with you! Art Show organisers tend to like that too, as it generates more interest in the show.
Why not try painting outdoors in a place that has trickle of on-lookers who may look in on you? It will most likely break the spell of fear and release you to another level of enjoying your art that you may not have imagined before.
Now - I know you have some interesting stories to tell on this point!