Overcast days are the best days for
getting out with fellow artists and doing a Plein Air session. This morning there were three of us gathered off Shore Drive: Jim Christley (P.A.S.T.A. gallery), Michael Frank Clark (@anonartists) and myself. We each picked a view to capture. Michael and I grabbed the same vantage point we had the previous week. Not only for the visual rediscovery and dedication to some final touches on the preliminary from our previous week’s work, but also for the friendly chit-chat and supportive camaraderie that comes from sharing the same shade with someone we admire. As a bit of serendipity we had the nice experience of community/neighborhood support. Billy came over and expressed she would like a resident writer to do an article for their community newspaper about our art group. Their free monthly flyer is published by the St. Augustine Record and called “Southern Comfort.” We decided to meet at this location next week. The PAASA also gave some great feedback for joining us here, so we have all the signs from the universe to keep it on our schedule for next Sunday.
Now for some real honesty about artistic dedication. This is where I slap your wrist if you are stuck in a tunnel of echoing excuses. You might be tired, you might be having a body-numbing- left-brain-synaptic-firing-overload-moment- for all the tidy and domestic things your SHOULD be doing…it happens to me. Whack! Slap down that awful distraction from true intention with art. If you want to be an artist, one must make time to meet with comrades (am I sounding Marxist?) and share your space/time continuum. I’ve heard the excuse, “I’m a loner, I sleep late, blah blah blah.” You can still be a loner in the midst of other artists…and half asleep. Artists generally learn whatever you teach them about how you want to be treated. Extra Coffee anyone? Be an athlete.
I make it a point a few times a week to research who I want to follow on Twitter…and who those people are following. (I don’t do Facebook) Right now I have a Calypso tune going in my head, and everybody with a bluebird is following other bluebirds…like feathers flocking together. Did you know Mo Willem’s follows Jack Black and the cartoon art museum. Proof that comedy is better than technique? I peaked at the long train behind Marc Scheff as he shares experiences with being a Brooklyn N.Y. Illustrator (Capital I) and Art director (Capital A).
While one might be dedicated to “who is doing what where and who is watching and listening to whom,” one can choose to trail along with podcasts by Chris Oatley. Maybe I will always be old school with paper and pen, but he has wisdom with networking and interacting with fellow art professionals that every artist should take notice of. Now for clarification about my tone, I am not coulda-shoulda-woulda-scolding anyone. I’m just reinforcing that it is a matter of dedication to explore the resources throughout our internet society.
Turn the T.V. off, turn the gamer needs down, and turn the light on in your work space. And if your work space is outside, well look!-the sun is up.
Roger Bansemer (Painting & Travel with Roger & Sarah Bansemer, with over 500 video series and affiliation with PBS) once told me, ” paintings which look unfinished have lacked a certain dedication from the artist.” It is our job to finish what we start, if we want to be professionals.
Like Chris Oatley says, to paraphrase “if you want more followers just paint like Noah Bradley “(Environment Concept Artist) Thanks for letting the “who’s following me pressure” off my back, I have a 40+hour- other day job. Confession: I do look over my shoulder occasionally in the land of twitter.
This morning the only tweets we heard were in the woods by the Real birds, in Real time, with Real artists in the shade. Keep it Real. Do Stuff. Doodles count.
More Plein Air Details at www.anonartists.com