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Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copan
Watercolour and crayon
©2012 Charlene Brown
This is another made-up view of the hieroglyphic stairway, as (not quite) seen from near the top of one of the pyramids enclosing the two courts of the Acropolis. All I could actually see was the huge protective tarpaulin that was draped over the whole length of it. The painting I did lastAugust showed the view from the other end of the ball court. And you couldn’t see the stairway from there either.
When I asked for stories from artist friends who are capable of talking and painting at the same time and actually replying intelligently to roving art critics, I got some good advice, but I was also reassured to learn that they too have avoidance techniques. Vivien Blackburn said that one of the many uses of a ‘half-igloo’ beach tent she takes when she goes painting plein air is to shelter herself from enquiring passers-by – I could see this providing the corner-to-back-into I’m always looking for! AlisonStaite said she’d never been much bothered by Roving Art Critics, and thought this might be because of her glowering look! I’d have to say that the glowering look I’m pretty sure I had at Copan had a rather surprising result…
RAC: I see you’ve left out the tarpaulin…
RAC: Do you know why it’s there?
Artist: They’re getting ready for the end of the world.
RAC: Do you believe that?
Artist: Of course not.
This led to a fascinating discussion of why some people believe the Mayan calendar predicted the world would end on December 21, 2012.
Reflecting on this conversation has led me to wonder if a less defensive, more confident approach to The Drama of Painting Plein Air would be a good idea… Make that a pleasantly confident approach, and it could be a great idea.