Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Shady Lane" -- plein air field study -- oil on canvas -- 9x12"

It's been a wild and crazy month. I'd flown out to Vermont to attend a friend's wedding and to meet a long-lost niece. And the place I've worked the past 28+ years, Ford Wixom Assembly, closed down for good. Last week they called me in to help out in a repair campaign and I had to drive Lincoln Town Cars off the hoist and out into the parking lot about a block or two away, then walk back. One day we got rained on. Another day it was very chilly. Most days it was hot (92 on Wednesday), with strong winds blowing dust & pollen. You may think that driving cars sounds like a gravy job, but it is exhausting when you do it for 10 hours at a time. Now I'm officially on layoff for the month of June. July 1 is the start of my "pre-retirement leave", so I'll be having more time to paint.

My buddies and I went out to the camping area of Kensington Metropark yesterday. It was filled with Boy Scouts. There were about 150 of them with their tents. There is a small river running along this stretch, and as soon as we parked, we painters bee-lined down to the water with our easels. The water reflections were gorgeous! Everybody lined up practically elbow to elbow, wanting to paint the same scene.

The river bank was a bit slippery and I nearly fell into the water. Accidentally dumped nearly all my container of turpentine into the water. So all I had to use was sludge for mixing colors and cleaning brushes! It was tough.

Soon the Boy Scouts came rushing down to the river with their kayaks. The littler boys went swimming. Trying to paint the water reflections with dozens of squealing, frolicking kids splashing around was impossible. I gave up on that painting, wiped it out, and walked across the road to see this delightful scene of tree shadows on the dirt road. I did the best I could, considering the sludgey turpentine.

When I went to photograph this painting, I dropped it, face-down of course, in the driveway. It's still very wet and there were little bits of "things" imbedded in it. I Photoshopped it out as best I could. After it dries, the foreign objects will fall off. Or so they say! Sometimes dropping a painting improves it.