Pre-show jitters

 Over the years, I have done dozens and dozens of live painting performances. I use the term "performances", not to suggest that I'm doing something that demands the full attention of an audience for a short period of time, rather a two to three hour public event where the patrons can glance my way from time to time to see how I'm progressing. Typically I work toward a time when the organizers would like to have a live auction for the painting. 

Once I am set up and putting paint on canvas, I relax into the experience. However, in the days and hours before leaving for the event, I have butterflies in my stomach. It's a form of anxiety I guess, though it doesn't debilitate me in any way. Instead, it is a low rumble of nervous tension that serves to keep me honest. It reminds me that I have to trust the process and my abilities.
I am about one hour away from jumping in my car and driving to Chestermere to do a live painting as part of their Regimental Ball. My paints and brushes are all packed up, as is my easel and a 24" x 48" canvas. I will be working vertically today and doing a scene that will celebrate the tradition and pride of the RCMP in their 150th year of service. I've pre-sketched the scene and will start to lay down blocks of colour as soon as I get set up around 4 pm. The VIP reception is set to start at 4:30 pm. I will have a maximum of four hours to get the painting to a point where it is saleable. 
A number of the live paintings I have done in the past have featured famous hockey players. I usually take a fairly straight forward approach with these projects, spending lots of time getting the uniforms and team logos correct.  Today's project is a little different and may allow me to exercise more creative license than usual. I have an idea of what I want to do, but I need to jump into it to see where it is going to take me. As I said, I have to trust the process. 


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