Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fresh Art & Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

photo courtesy of Randy Jennings

So, when I read about Dayton Visual Art Center's "Fresh Art" the first thing that came to mind was that I was going to do it. The intent of the event which took place Friday night was to create a path of artists plein air painting between art galleries participating in Dayton's monthly First Friday, when they are open until 10pm. I didn't give it much more thought until the week before it was to take place, when the anxiety began to set in.

In case you don't already know, I've been a commercial artist (architectural illustrator/graphic designer) for a couple of decades. Inspired by a new found love of printmaking, I decided my New Year's resolution would be to drop "commercial" and try and call myself an artist. I've been taking part in art opportunities as they arise and so far it has been going well.

I knew the urban plein air thing would be cake, as far as the actual drawing was concerned, because I have been drawing buildings to put a roof over my head for a long time. What I didn't think about, however, was that I would be doing it in front of people, and that I would have to talk to them, and that they would see something before it was finished. When that hit me, my first thought was to pray for rain. Being an introvert who never thinks anything she does is finished or good enough, I was going to be way outside my comfort zone with this thing.

But once I got set up and found my view, everything else just came naturally. Talking to people and being engaging while I was working on my artwork was no problem, and it was actually fun and interesting. Stepping outside you comfort zone can be a good thing.

Now all I have to do is change and correct a few things on this so it will be finished. Or almost finished.