Can I approach an artist who is painting?

As an en plein aire artist, I know a lot of people enjoy seeing a painting in progress.  The general public usually isn’t sure if its okay to approach an artist or not.  Will you bother them?  destroy their process?  ruin their work?

En Plein Aire painting

If you see an artist out painting and you would like a closer look, follow my guidelines –

  • approach the artist from the side, stand in their peripheral vision so they can see you but don’t block their view.
  • don’t walk in front of the artist when they’re painting.
  • if the artist ignores you, don’t bother them.
  • if the artist looks at you and nods, then goes back to work, wait and see what happens.
  • if the artist turns and talks to you, approach and admire their work, ask questions, offer to buy the painting, ask if they give lessons, ask for a card…

Most artists that you see out painting are self employed and will be happy to talk to a potential customer about their art.

Sometimes I wish the public would see artists painting ‘en plein aire’ in a public place as performance art.   After all, that’s what it is.  Nice comments are good, but how about a tip?  I would like to see people develop a habit of tipping ‘en plein aire’ artists when they stop to watch.   Just throw a buck or two in their paint box.  You can be sure we’ll appreciate it.

I have seen artists that make painting a picture into performance art. They’re usually not painting the view, but a pre-composed painting.  Its even become common for artists to paint a picture to music in a nightclub, although these paintings are almost always abstract.

This artist is incredible, he makes painting into a real performance and people pay lots of money to watch him.




“who I am and why I’m here”

In my many years as a practicing artist I have learned a lot of things about art.  Some of the subjects I want to teach my readers about are:

  • preserving art
  • cleaning art
  • hanging art
  • choosing art
  • art in general

In this blog, I want to write interesting posts for people interested in art.  I plan to post about subjects that I have talked about with customers.  Selling my art at festivals lets me talk with customers and other artists and I believe the things we discussed will interest my readers too.

If you’re an artist, art lover, art collector or art historian, I think you will enjoy reading my blog.  Follow this blog and you’ll learn all about choosing and caring for art.  I’ll include some posts about making art so everyone can understand the process, although I’m writing a separate blog aimed at artists. “Inside the mind of an Artist”. 

Thanks for reading!

Do You Doodle?


When you were in school taking notes from your teachers lecture, did you doodle on your paper? I know I did and I think most of us did. I don’t envy students today that take notes on their laptops, its harder to doodle and write at the same time like we did “back in the day”.

What about now? Have you doodled lately? How about on your shopping list or your to-do list? Well, why not?

  • Doodling is fun!
  • Doodling is relaxing!
  • Doodling is meditative!
  • Doodling is good hand eye-coordination exercise!
  • Doodling is therapeutic!
  • Doodling is creative!
  • Doodling is soothing!
  • Doodling is beneficial in many ways!
  • Doodling takes you away!

Convinced yet? Give it a try and find out what I’m writing about. I think you’ll like it!  Let me be your guide.  You’ll need a small piece of paper, a pencil and a pen.

If you haven’t done any doodling in a while, you may find a blank piece of paper a little intimidating. That’s why I want you to start with a small piece of paper, business card, book-marker or index card sized. Now using your pencil, put a dot in each corner then connect the dots with lines.  Don’t worry if they’re straight or not, you’re just doodling.  Now that you have a limited area to work with, is it less intimidating? Scribble a simple line or lines around in your framed area and you’re ready to get started.

Next, pick up a pen (leave that pencil alone now, no cheating) and get started. Use your pencil scribble as a guide and fill in the area’s you discover with cross-hatched lines, grids, dots, spirals, boxes, basket weave, spikes, swirls, and anything else you can imagine. Do you have a favorite way to doodle?

I’d like to give a shout-out here to for the idea of framing in an area and using a scribble as a guide.  If you enjoy doodling you should check out their site, they have some amazing ideas for more doodling which you can in find in their  kits.

Here are some of my doodles for you to see how its done.  Don’t try to copy mine, just look at them to get the idea and go do your own thing.  Enjoy!

red doodle

purple doodle

black doodle

brown doodle

Watch this video put out by Jerry’s Artarama (an art supply store)  more information.