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“Everybody paints on Thursday.”

March 15, 2013
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On Austin Street

We stopped in a gallery on Wednesday in downtown Rockport.  It’s a co-op, owned by several artists, and two of them were there.  One lady said “everybody comes out and paints on Thursdays”, and she said they would be all over the downtown area this time.  Anyone who wanted to paint was welcome.  The next morning, Thursday, I headed downtown around 9am, thinking about where I might paint.  Knowing how plein air painters are, I figured all the good street corners would be taken by the time I got there.  When I got downtown, I saw a few people walking, and several sitting on the outdoor veranda of a coffee shop, but no artists yet.  So I drove up and down the few blocks, trying to decide where I wanted to set up.  I finally chose the corner across from the coffee shop, got my gear out of the Jeep and set up to paint.    The painting venue for that Thursday must have been somewhere else, because I never saw another painter all day.

So as a painter, I had the streets to myself.  And the onlookers as well, which was actually kind of enjoyable.  The highlight was when two ladies approached, and one of them said “I love to see this in a town.”  She meant seeing an artist painting on a street corner, and I couldn’t resist telling them I didn’t live here.  They appeared to be from another country, and we had a nice brief chat and they moved on.

I’ve pretty much gotten over my self-consciousness.  I’ve taken to heart a statement by Kevin McPherson: “…anybody, even a beginner, who attempts painting outdoors, will impress 90% of passersby.  Just putting up a french easel is impressive.”  People are curious, they’re interested, they want to see what you’re doing.

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At Rockport Harbor

Around noon, after grabbing a drivethru burger, I drove to the harbor and ate lunch in the Jeep.  Then I set up and started painting this shrimp boat.  There wasn’t another car parked anywhere along the docks, but these folks chose this spot to park and take their picnic lunch over to the bay side.  It’s just as well.  The painting was starting to fall apart, and I was getting a pretty good sunburn on the back of my neck.

It was a good day.  I enjoyed getting out and painting, and I suspect Nell enjoyed having me out of the house for a few hours.

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