Have You Ever...

Have You Ever...A look into the everyday life of an artist. Things to ponder, laugh at, and delight in.

Posted every Friday. (Started 4-6-11)  Join in the fun and send me your own "Have You Ever..." or comment on mine.

Have You Ever...been at an event where something else is going on besides art and started thinking about what colors to use to paint what you see?
Have You Ever...waited until the last minute to finish a painting, take pictures, and enter a juried show? (Now, in this day of digital entries, I have a quick way to enter a show...even if I have waited until the last minute!)
Have You Ever...forgotten to do the laundry, make dinner, or change out of your p.j.'s because you are so involved with the piece you are working on?

Have You Ever...finished a painting, taken your photos, cut mats, framed the piece, and upon placing your title tag on the back of the paper backing, turned the piece around to find out you forgot to sign it?  I have done this a couple of times throughout my 17 years of framing my paintings. It is not a lot of fun framing the same piece twice in one day!

Have You Ever...set up a plein-air workshop an hour from your studio and realized upon arriving that you left your demo painting back in your studio? I set up a plein-air (French meaning - "in the open air") workshop at the Denver Botanic Gardens, an hour from Colorado Springs. I brought everything else I needed, but I forgot my demo painting that I had drawn and ready to go. So, instead of starting with the demo, I had the workshop participants go take photos and familiarize themselves with the gardens and I quickly drew a new scene that I could demo. I was a little frazzled to say the least, but I think the day turned out OK.

Have You Ever...purchased a new tool or paint and thought or hoped it would change you into an overnight artistic sensation?

Have You Ever... spilled a whole palette of watercolors on a white carpet? I did, and spent several days hiding and cleaning, hiding and cleaning until I finally got all of it. First thing is "Do not panic" Ha! Next get as many dry rags as you can and begin blotting and blotting and blotting. Next get damp towels and blot. Do not rub. You have to change the towel space every blot. Finally, use soap and water. If you try to get the carpet wet before you blot, it will spread everywhere and you will have a watercolor carpet. (contributed by Reveille Kennedy)

Have You Ever...failed to backup your digital camera. Always backup your photos!  I went to the Denver Botanic Gardens with my sister today and I was playing around with my digital SLR camera to try and find a particular setting. While I was doing this I didn't stop to think and pushed the buttons that reformat my picture card.  I lost a ton of images. Some from my sons 15th birthday and a vacation that we took at spring break!  Wow, that will teach me, not to backup my photos onto the computer! 


Have You Ever...repeatedly checked the mail box looking for the envelope that is addressed to you, in your own handwriting, and before you open the envelope, you feel it to see if it still contains the same number of slides that you sent to be juried? If there are fewer, you know even before opening the envelope that your painting was accepted into the show!

Now, with the advent of most shows changing to digital images and online entries, you can't get that little thrill before opening the envelope.

Have You Ever...been half-way through a watercolor and felt like nothing was working, but you keep going and end up with a piece you like? It is encouraging to me to know that this happens with watercolor, no matter what level you have achieved. Fortunately, it doesn't happen with every painting, some just seem to paint themselves!


Have You Ever …ever dipped your brush into your drink instead of the water cup?

Have You Ever …been a passenger driving somewhere and yelled at the driver to “STOP THE CAR”, so that you could get out and take pictures of the light glancing off the water, a sunset glowing through the trees, or a field of wildflowers? 

Have You Ever …had someone ask you how long it took to do that painting? The best response to this that I have heard is that it took 20 years + 15 hours (the years you struggled to learn the medium, composition, and find your individual “voice” plus the 15 hours to paint the painting and make it all look so easy).