Thursday, October 13, 2016

"Can I Borrow Your Paintbrush?"

From time to time when I'm painting outdoors, a funny thing happens. Tourists come up and want to borrow the paintbrush and pretend they're the artist. That's OK, I don't usually mind, but in this case there were a whole bunch of people who each wanted their turn!

Here's a brief video that takes you behind the scenes and shows a little of the painting process.

If you're getting this blog post as an email, you may need to follow this link to see the video on Facebook. It's an excerpt from a longer video on flower painting that I'm putting together for release in Spring 2017.

The original painting is on view and will be offered for sale at the American Masters show at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Jeanette and I will be there tomorrow, Friday, October 14th, 6:00-8:30 for the Gala event.

The show will be on view through October 21. The Gala costs to attend, but seeing the show any other time is free.
Previously: Top ten ways to deal with curious spectators
The problem of curious spectators


stapeliad said...

I had a lady once pull up next to me with a suitcase.....she sat down 3 feet away and started shucking corn. That suitcase was stuffed full of CORN. IN THE MIDDLE OF BROOKLYN. I moved. No one has ever asked to borrow a brush, i think the oil paint scares them off.

Tom Hart said...

Wow. I don't do much public painting (though I should and want to), but this phenomenon is something that I never would have guessed. I assume no one has ever tried to "help" with the least not any adults, I hope!

GJ said...

It's all ok, until you start receiving advice. Then, the bite marks on one's tongue can take a while to subside. The trick is to keep one's responses good-humored. It's easy to be flip, but always nicer to be nice.

Q "Are you an artist?"
A "I don't know, what do you think?"

Q "What do you charge for a painting?"
A "Nothing for the painting, but a LOT for the frame."

Warren JB said...

Bizarre! I've never encountered this. From the video, it looks like they're just posing for their friends' photographs? I guess you really need a paintbrush and easel for it, rather than a pencil and sketchbook!

Jessica: is it wrong that I only thought it was *really* weird when you mentioned Brooklyn?

GJ: I have to admit that first question trips me up. In my mind it's a question of professional vs. (very) amateur. My usual answer is along the the lines of 'someday'.

Looking forward to the completed video. I have a feeling I need to watch more of these to help take the '(very)' off.

stapeliad said...

Warren- it is always weird if someone settles down next to you with a suitcase full of corn...but in Bklyn it is extra-weird.

I was painting in central park once and a stupid snooty entitled upper west side mom brought her stupid kid over to pee right under the same tree *I* was standing under!! Thousands of trees and her kid had to pee on mine. People are mostly great when I am out painting but some are just horrible.

Unknown said...

Dear James, I think they are tourists from mainland of China. I also a Chinese in Hong Kong, but I can't stand that their impolite behavior when they travel our place. They always think that Western people are nice guy such as you, so they want get profit from you. May I suggest that you can reject them next time. I don't want your painting damaged by careless tourists.

P.S. I am your fan since I saw your book "Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara "

MK Buike said...

Oh, my. I think that's quite unusual. I've never had someone ask to pose with my paintbrush. But then I normally sit with my sketchbook and support board in my lap, so they couldn't really pose with it as they did with your easel.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amai said...

That's one problem I can't even imagine having :) But it makes a certain amount of sense. The whole world seems to be on the lookout for a unique selfie opportunity and to stand in your shoes for a second and pretend seems like a pretty good one, same as posing as the conductor of a train, or wearing a cowboy outfit to an old west town.

Mitch said...

Have you ever seen the blog for Suncage ( ?

He has a constant stream of observers who actually add to his work in progress while getting their photos taken. If you can't bet them, join them?