Saturday, July 26, 2014


Yesterday my friend Tracy L. who is visiting from New York City, came with me to Ocean Point because she wanted to watch me paint.  She had no idea how a watercolorist proceeds and was very attentive as I worked from light to dark, large to small, and  smooth to a more textured area in the foreground.

Early in the painting stages, a man came by and started the conversation by stating that he, too, was a painter.  But he was the kind of onlooker that I've come to know and dread over the years:  The Bore Who Came To Stay. He wanted me to look at photos of his oil paintings right when I was in the middle of a tricky wash.  Then he wanted to know how much I charged for my work, not because he was interested in buying, but because he wanted to gauge how much he should charge for his own work.  He didn't ask permission to take photos of my painting; he just barged forward and took them.

How to swat away such outdoor pests?  Sometimes, if they are standing too close, I "accidentally" splatter water on them.  I also have taken the painting off the easel to dry the first wash in the sun and purposely leave it long enough for them to get bored watching paint dry and exit.  If they begin taking photos, saying they are going to copy my work, I explain copyright laws and that they could be sued.  Then I ask them their name.

Most people are very considerate and complementary when they see an artist on location.  I enjoy chatting with interesting viewers.  Once in a while, if I really like the conversation we've had, I offer to let them pose in front of my completed painting with one of my brushes.  That never fails to draw smiles!  But sometimes The Bore Who Came To Stay will start to distract and annoy.  It's nice to have some ammo in your repertoire to shoo them away so you can get back to work!

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