You probably all know this by now, but one of the things I do the most is large paintings in small periods of time, otherwise known as speed painting. People often marvel at these creations, but my guess is were those same pieces hanging in a gallery, those same people might dismiss them as not very good. Why the disparity of opinion? Because live painting is about the experience. They see it being created. It’s not the best piece of art they have ever seen, but in six minutes? Wow! The connection with the art is a connection with the experience.
As I thought about this, I realized the key to live painting is to realize it’s about the experience. Creating great art is amazing. There is nothing like it for the artist, and hopefully the finished product will bless everyone who sees it. The problem with creating a thing of beauty is, for everyone else, watching the process is likely to be boring, maybe not for an art nerd like me, but for everyone else, pretty much. Live painting is at least as much about the process as it is about the final product. As such there is a secret to it and here it is… Are you ready? It’s only two words… Here they are:
In a live setting, with limited time and resources, perfection is off the table. Better to make the process interesting and make it quick. There’s a reason for the old saying, “It’s like watching paint dry” as an expression for boredom. Live painting is at least in part entertainment, so make the process entertaining. Have fun and make sure everyone can tell you’re having fun. Go fast, create the piece upside down, accompany it with something else or accompany something else.
Of course there is an exception to this rule and that is for those of us blessed to be painting during a sermon or message. In this respect, we are there to support. People will give us some attention by virtue of what we’re doing. That’s okay it enhances the experience. What we dare not do is be the visual art equivalent of this guy.
We need to know why we are wherever we are, and when you are front and center, make it interesting. Let people feel the love you have for what you do and bring your best to the matter at hand. Make it fast, make it cool, make the most of what you have and the time you’re given, forget perfection and make it remarkable.