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Cafe painting is good fun. It is a bit like outdoor painting done indoors. Is that feasible? Many people would say no. I would say a qualified “yes”.
Recent experience at a local cafe convinces me that there are some elements in common.
There are two main differences which are controlled indoors – variations in the light and protection from the weather. They are pretty big differences from the real thing. How can I possibly claim any similarities?
As you can see, the kit is the same. My subject matter is cafe customers. That makes the time tight, even tighter than painting outdoors. They move their limbs a lot and some move their heads in very expressive ways. More fun.
It is also another version of painting in public, under the eyes of curious people. Curious people are fine by the way, but in this case they do wonder why I am staring at them!
Painting people living their everyday lives at such close quarters feels as if I am teetering on the performer’s tightrope. There is a blurry border between the artist and their subject in this very social setting. The border is firmer outdoors where people are not my main focus.
I am enjoying the tightrope and the chance to take risks in public. Artistic risks of course! Any painting exercise in the studio or elsewhere has them. The way I find best is to accept what I produce and learn as I go. There is some evidence for learning in the series so far. They are not in order of execution. It might be fun to arrange them in order….but that would give away too many secrets.
And yes, I still think cafe painting is a bit like outdoor painting, indoors. Do you agree?