by Robert Leedy, 2008,
watercolor on Arches 140 lb. Hot Press paper,
22″ x 16.75″
This painting was one of my biggest plein air challenges of all times: While working on a downtown sidewalk in Charleston, South Carolina, I answered numerous questions about what I was doing; I heard people’s lifelong dreams, their problems, their life stories and family history; I fielded questions of where I was from and what I did for a living; I was asked how I liked Charleston and where I was staying; I traded recipes; I was recommended restaurants and sights to see; I entertained children; I gave directions to those who probably thought I was from Charleston (hope I was right); I posed for photographs; I listened to jokes; I discussed art; I looked at family photos; I gave solicited advice; I told the time; I had philosophical conversations with the homeless; I warmly accepted compliments and returned smiles.
I also worked on this painting.
The warm, hospitable Charlestonians couldn’t bear NOT stopping for a little chat.