So, what have I been up to lately? Well, right now, doing a dance of joy and also freaking out, because I got into the Devour Culinary Classic as a live painter!
Why does this freak me out? Well, because it's in Phoenix, and I live in Tucson, about two hours' drive away (one and a half if you leave really early in the morning). And really, in order to do the festival, I would have to spend the night in Phoenix.
And I have a two-and-a-half-year-old. And I haven't spent the night away from him since he came home from the hospital. Cue the mom guilt!
...I actually think this will be super fun. Not just to be able to get a full nights' sleep in a hotel room and not be woken up by a toddler at 4:30 AM (thanks, Husband!), not just for the alone time, but also because it's a great opportunity, a really cool idea, sounds like a fun event, and I think I'll have a good time.
I used to paint plein air in college, both during class and on my own, which is kind of like "live painting" since a lot of people who pass you come up to watch you paint and comment on it. I got lots of "oh, I used to paint, but I haven't done it in 10/20/80 years..." To which I said, "do it again! You can get right back into it, and even if your first attempt is terrible, keep going, it'll get better."
The best comments were always from the kids. I painted at Island Park in Sarasota a few times, and one time when I had set up near a playground, naturally a steady stream of kids wandered by. They would say, "ooh, that's pretty!" or "Is that hard to do?" or "I like to paint, too!" or "I can't even draw a tree."
Regardless of the comment (which were all positive, I mean, no one came up to me and said, "this painting looks like crap layered on more crap!"), it was gratifying to see kids take an interest in art, and to witness them stand still for 5+ minutes (which is an eternity in kid time) and watch something being made.
So although I don't expect to see (m)any kids at the Phoenix festival, I will be interested to see what questions and comments I hear. I would say, "come see me paint!" but I hear tickets are sold out. Bummer. But if it's fun, hopefully they'll have one closer to home next time!
...although who am I kidding, a night of uninterrupted sleep in a hotel will be worth 10 times what I paid for it. So actually, bring on the out of town art opportunities!...occasionally.