Plein Air means painting in fresh air in French. As a plein air artist I face many things. Inclement weather, bugs, noise and lugging gear from my home. The interesting thing about being a plein air artist is that every painting has a story.
I painted this the day before the Chicago marathon. A lot of people were out exploring the city. While I was painting the Chicago Theatre on State Street, a man started yelling nearby. He was not yelling at me. I could not hear him because of the street noise, but he was so close to me that I could not ignore him. I decided to walk over because he was not going away.
I asked what was wrong. He was upset that someone nearby was holding a coffee, but did not have money to give him. It was only then that I realized that he was at least a foot taller than me and perhaps it was not a good idea to walk over. He had to lean down to tell me why he was upset. I told him I'm sorry he was ignored. He nodded and walked away. He wanted to be acknowledged.
On the surface, the painting is about Chicago and the Chicago Theatre. But it is really about the people. Your eyes may look at the sign, but finally rest on the people. At the end of the day, we all want to be seen and not be ignored.