Any of you who paint outdoors know that we are intentionally setting ourselves up for public annoyances in the form of curious minded people who happen to ask the same questions over and over. So I’ve devised a series of responses for you to use. I’ve field tested most of them, but be advised timing and delivery are essential:
1) Are you an artist?
a) You can’t tell?
b) (moving your brush rapidly through your painting, messing it up as if you were startled) Holy Crap! You scared the bejeeezus out of me. Makes some noise next time, (sobbing) my masterpiece is ruined…..
c) well, no. but my psychiatrist says it’ll help quiet the voices.
d) has anyone told you that your feet are very attractive?
e) You know, I don’t tell many people this but I’m actually a hit-man.
f) I’m an actor. You may have seen me in Ghost Busters as the Stay-Puft marshmallow man.
2) Is this a profession or a hobby?
a) It’s the profession that pays like a hobby!
3) What are you painting?
a) you can’t tell?
b) Mans inhumanity to man and his relentless quest for death.
c) a domed stupa within a truncated pyramid—semi-interred within a gentle Andalusian countryside
4) Hey, if I stand here long enough, will you paint me into your picture?
A) okay but it’ll take me a couple of days.
B) I’ll put you in metaphorically as a rock.
C) I don’t do wildlife.
D) In a serious tone… “okay, stand still, now lift your leg up… good now stretch out your arms, higher. Great, now wet your lips and pretend to whistle. work it. yeah! got it.
You know, i’ve worked with better but you have that mysterious je ne cest quoi! Do you have an agent?
E) I only do nudes, take off your wife beater and jorts and we’ll get started.
F) Okay but you’ll have to shave your back first.
5) Oh great, another landscape painter.
A) Oh great, another ass-clown on a bike.
B) Oh great another ass-clown with a dog.
C) Your bar has last call at 9am? (or whatever the current time is)
D) Do I follow your truck around and critique your waste management skills?
6) My grandmother was an artist!
A) that’s awesome, mine was just killed by a grizzly.
B) Yeah mine would get drunk and tape us all to the couch and make us watch Lawrence Welk, thanks for the reminder.
C) If I had a dollar for every time someone said that, I could afford a decent attorney for my grandmother.
D) (haltingly) Wow…. If only…. if only… I……. If only I cared.
E) That is so cool!
7) I can’t paint. I wasn’t born with the talent.
A) thank god.
B) you aren’t born with it, you earn it.
C) you can be anything you want to be. you are magnificent. now go away.
8) Do you sell your paintings?
A) Not really.
B) Mostly I trade these to my drug dealer for crack. He’s very erudite.
C) Actually, this is the only one I have ever done.
D) Oh, I’m not a professional, this is just part of a work-release program.
9) $1400, is that your best price?
A) Well no, actually $12,000 is my best price. I like the way you do business.
10) How long you been paintin’?
A) Hour and a half
B) 35 years and about an hour and a half
C) How long have you had that mullet?
D) Since before those cut-off jean shorts with the frayed ends you are wearing went out of style.
11) Wanna paint a nude of me?
A) “Okay, the sooner you get naked, the sooner we’ll get this over with. Sound familiar?”
B) “How refreshing, a guy who wants to show me his penis!”
C) “You bet! Go on home and slap some nair on that shag rug you call your back and we’ll get going.”
D )“You know, I have not seen a naked man since my herpes tests came back.”
17) “Just curious, are you alergic to mace?”