Taking your paints and brushes to the street is a sure fire way to bridge your art with the community. I’m an enthusiastic plein air painter and urban sketcher. My paints, pens and sketchbooks travel with me everywhere I go. When I set up on the street, there’s always a connection with someone – a waiter, a tourist, a property owner, the neighborhood kids.
People are curious. They want to see what you’re doing and how you’re going about it. “Why is your door a different color? Why did you move that tree? Where’s the sign? Why are you painting their bistro, not ours? They want to share what they see with others. “Heh, Jimmy, come and look at this! I’m taking your photo to send to my art school daughter to encourage her to get herself out there! Can I take a photo of your sketch
to share with the owner?”
They give you glimpses into the place of art in their lives. “My mom or my uncle or my cousin paints. I used to do a little drawing myself, but I’m not very good. Have you ever heard of Van Gogh?” While sketching on the street, I’ve shared my supplies with an onlooker who I knew was seriously itching to paint with me. I’ve practiced speaking French with a group of children who gathered round while I sketched at Pont de Gard in the south of France. I’ve sold sketches to fellow travellers who were intrigued that I had captured our shared experience in paint on paper. You never know what’s going to happen next!
More often than not, people are in awe to see that you have artistic talent and are brave enough to exercise it in public! I like to think my courage helps them find theirs!
2 thoughts on “Bridging ~ Patricia Katz”
I am just browsing through some art websites this a.m. that are a part of the Sask. Craft Council site, of which I am a member, and saw you painting plein air in Tallinn ! I’m not sure if you remember but my cultural deep roots are Estonian : ) My father and mother were displaced persons after the second WW ( a story there ) and made their new home in Canada – Toronto, Ontario, where alot of Estonian immigrants settled. I have been to Estonia to bury my mum and dad’s ashes there and visit with my relations. My second language is Estonian but not many people here to speak it with. Tallinn is a World Unesco Heritage site and I just love the Old Town and yes, Saku beer too ! : ) Love your adventure in watercolours, Excellent ! Always, Kristina : )
Hi Kristina. How lovely to hear from you. It’s been such a long while since our paths crossed.Good for you for noticing that photo was of me painting in the Old Town square in Tallin. Dave and I visited there on a Baltic Cruise a few years ago and were so taken with the beauty of the city even though we only had a day stop. I had forgotten that your heritage is deeply Estonian. I will contact you directly by email to share a few of my artworks from Tallin. I hope you are well and that life is treating you well. Warm Wishes, Pat