Monday, July 23, 2012

"Monday FUNday" - Everything AND the Kitchen Sink

Have you ever packed so much into a weekend, 

that it's like Christmas, Fourth of July, 

and your birthday - all rolled into one?

Whew, it's exhausting....but ridiculously fun! 

We've become a 2 bicycle family now, thanks to LLBean's bike sale the other week, and some birthday money saved from September! Hubby and I have been out scouting out more places to ride....and plein air paint! Saturday we hauled our bikes up to the "Airline Trail" in Colchester, CT and  rode about 25 miles! No I'm not kidding, that's twenty-five. It's an old railroad bed with an incredibly level grade, which makes for a very pleasant ride. Mostly in shade, which helped make it easier, too!  Lots of beautiful views along the way - I felt like I was on vacation! 
So what's the best cure for sore, achy muscles? A stop at Salem Valley Ice-cream on the way home! Well, it sure didn't hurt, and was worth testing that theory. 
Now the "Motoring Secretary" at Roxanne Steed Fine Art was not content with a four hour bike ride and ice-cream, so we did make a stop close to home at Whittle's Farm Market in Mystic for some fantastic tomatoes, corn, and PEACHES! 
  Whew, all this and we haven't even made it to Sunday yet!  I was in for a nice surprise when I found out we were going sailing with some friends out of Mystic! What a wonderful treat! And I think I have some good reference shots for future paintings! The weather was perfect, I couldn't imagine a more ideal afternoon! 

Thanks to Darby and Dave for a really fun time!

(Darby, left; me, on the right)

And now for a last bit of 'multi-media' sketchbook fun! I've taken several pages in my sketchbook and made some simple underpaintings...and some not so simple. This one happened to have a simple green wash underneath, graded with a deeper value on one end, and layed in rather 'sketchy' - leaving some white - not a continuous wash.  It was nice and dry and ready for my "great idea" that came later.  I was inspired by a brilliant stand of Queen Anne's Lace on our bike-ride Saturday. The sun was beaming directly on it, and the woods all in shadow behind it made for a stunning back-drop.  I was particularly attracted to the strong abstract shapes of darks and lights, the flower heads of varying heights bobbing in the breeze. The loose watercolor sketch allows me to 'doodle - out' this idea and consider whether I'd like to perhaps try a similar design in oil.  Click on the image for a closer view.
So a successful weekend - involving back to back fun; good fresh food, and lots of new painting inspiration!

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