21 October 2013

Walking through the next door

Being a Sunday painter is frustrating. I painted one picture on Sunday (that I'm not posting yet, because it's a present for a friend and I don't want to ruin the surprise). Then I started a second one, but I ran out of time/light, and didn't get to finish it. All I wanted on Monday morning was to go back out on my patio and finish the painting, but instead I had to go to work.

What really needs to happen is that I need to upgrade my eyeglass prescription so that I can see better to paint at night indoors and don't have to restrict myself to Sundays in perfect daylight on the porch. Or, I need to quit my job and make my living as an artist. Right. Not quite yet.

First of all, I don't feel ready as an artist to charge for my work. I post it, I give it as gifts, I frame it and hang it in my house, I keep it in a portfolio. It's not quite stranger-ready, though. I feel like there's so much more to do, to learn, to practice, to develop--a style, an idea of who I want to be as a painter, what I want to share.

Second, if I were going to do it, I'd want to be in a position to really commit to it, because...

It's one of those catch 22s--my cousin said to me recently, Why don't you just get an Etsy page like everybody else, and sell whatever you paint? But working full-time as I am, that's a twofold issue: 1. I don't really need the money because I have a full-time job; and 2. since I do have that full-time job, all the stuff that would go along with the Etsy page, like scanning, pricing, posting, communicating, matting, shipping, following up--all that is too much to do on top of working full-time (especially if I'm also supposed to have time to paint--hello?).

So--I think the first step is to get better glasses, the second step is to paint a LOT more, and the third? That can wait for awhile.

20 October 2013

Playing tourist

So what DO you do with one afternoon in Paris? Run madly from one museum to the next, barely registering what you're seeing? Sit in a café drinking coffee while you sketch and look pensive? SHOP? The café sounded most appealing, since I had been on my feet in the museum since 9:30 in the morning and it was now 3:30, but it felt like a waste to sit in one place on my only afternoon left.

So I sat, but not in one place. I yielded to impulse when, upon exiting the Orsay, surfeited on art for the time being, I saw, right there at the curb, a bus stop for the double decker red tourist buses, and then one pulled up right in front of me and opened its doors. I got on, climbed to the top, and spent the next two hours with earbuds in my ears, craning my neck and holding my phone precariously out over the road to take a series of photos of all the hot spots we passed in our trek to the sights of Paris. Not a very imaginative use of my time, but I did get to see a lot and pinpoint a few places I'd like to come back to when I have a day to spend instead of a few minutes!

Some of the photos weren't great, since the bus was moving, but I got a few that I thought were memorable:

And here's where I ended up, when I descended, cold and slightly damp, two and a half hours later--my destination all along! I had a bracing café au lait, then acquired a sandwich to go (for my dinner), and started the search for the proper bus to take me back to my hotel (no more Metro for me this trip!). I could most definitely have spent a more scintillating evening, my last night in Paris, but I was overwhelmed by everything with which I had stuffed my senses all day, so I spent a quiet night reorganizing my suitcase, and went to bed early, since Parishuttle was picking me up at 6:30 a.m. for my flight home.

And that was my trip to France! Eleven hours back the other way, with my kind friend Carey waiting at the end of it to pick me up and take me home, where I got reacquainted with my cats, watered my garden, did my laundry, and blogged, and the day after that I returned to work. It's almost as if I never left! Except now I have new painting techniques to try, new reference photos from which to paint, and a plan to make for WHERE TO GO ON HOLIDAY NEXT YEAR!

The End (of the beginning)