Painting in a crowd, Place Des Armes
Yesterday I spent the afternoon painting with Shari in Place des Armes. The square is finally in use again after a massive re-construction project. At lunchtime, it was absolutely packed with downtown office types enjoying the sun. A bit later we had tour groups showing up from all over the world. I’m starting to see cultural trends. Asians seem to love art, and often come up to talk. South Asians seemed mainly worried their kids were bothering me (I don’t mind), and Europeans often do drive by, “hey good job’ comments without stopping. Or hang back in my peripheral vision, so I’m never quite sure but I think they’re taking pictures :)
I had an incident with a rogue gust that tipped over my easel, dumping out my paint water. If you’re painting often enough, I guess it’s going to happen. I supposed it’s my own fault for taping half sheets to this tripod that’s meant for quarter. This might have meant a trip to buy an overpriced water bottle, but fortunately, the base of the Maisonneuve statue is a fountain! I think I was a bit discombobulated after that. The painting turned out a little more chaotic than I’d like.
I’ve been feeling lately that I need to get the people and cars into the paintings. Usually I avoid cars as much as possible. Somehow they seem anachronistic next to the subjects I choose. But, it is part of life as it exist in the city, and I should be learning to paint any situation. So, this is the first pass at handling the presence of people. Clearly I’ve simplified the crowd into silhouettes – the lighting situation at mid-day helped with that. This is going on my list of things to work on. I want to be able to tackle the complexity of a street scene a little more gracefully in the future :)