Monday, July 30, 2012

On My Way Back ...

Tonight, I'm writing this as I sit in my hotel room in Cheyenne, WY.  I'm on my way back to Utah and have had a week of ups and downs.  I first left for my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; last Thursday evening.  The plan was to do a bit of visiting with family and then do RAGBRAI. 

Well, even the best laid plans seem to change.  I did some visiting and started RAGBRAI.  I managed the first three days of RAGBRAI.  The worst three days as far as heat and humidity that RAGBRAI has ever seen in its 40 years (go figure!).  All three days were 99 or above with one day climbing up to 104 degrees with 80% humidity.  Oh and did I mention there were winds that were up to 20 mph too?  These were some tough days and I really found that the humidity was getting to me. 

But I will say that those three days of RAGBRAI were amazing!  It was a sea of bicycles as far as the eye could see along the wonderful hilly landscape of Iowa's corn and soybean fields.  There were people all along the Iowa roads that were cheering you on; some were selling water, cookies, or almost everything.  Some were not selling but giving water out for free, or offering to douse you with their hose, or even others were handing out frozen pops.  Main streets in small Iowa towns were closed down just to bicycle traffic and filled up with vendors offer to sell food or wares to the cyclists that came through the town.  It was just AMAZING!  I don't know how else to describe it.
Photo: Boys-N-Cars watercolor I did of my nephews for a Father's Day present. 
The youngest one here is the one with dark hair.

My second day was the worst.  I had received a phone call from my little brother the night before that my youngest nephew had passed away due to complications after a surgery.  He was only 13 years old.  I was rather a bit of a basket case that day and only managed to ride 47 miles of the 85 miles that I should have rode.  My head and heart just were not in it.  I found I could not keep food down and when you are riding that is NEVER a good sign to have.  I ended up getting SAG'd in that day.  I did manage the next day's ride but then had to call for help when I was brain dead trying to find the host house.  The combo of riding 84 miles with 104 degree humid heat just left me STUPID.

Wednesday night I managed to get a ride back to my mom's.  I had opted not to ride on Thursday to give my body a bit of a break but I also needed to be back for a viewing(Friday) and funeral(Saturday).  That basically meant that RAGBRAI was over for me.  But I needed to be else where.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Porch No. 101

This porch belongs to my good cycling buddies; Bee & Peter.  They asked me about a little over a year ago to do a painting of their house/porch.  I really thought I had managed a bit of a coup when I had them pose on their porch with their dog Astra for No. 100 of the Salt Lake City Porches Project.  I thought it was the perfect way to finish the project and also did a painting of their porch too.  I figured it was all done in one full swoop. 

Then after the January showing of the 100 SLC Porches, they approached me and asked to do a painting of their porch with no people from the front.  I will admit that I dragged my heels.  I was rather burned out on porches by that point.  So, more recently I was approached by another cycling bud to do their porch, I thought that I had better take care of Bee & Peter's porch first.  So here it is....
"Porch No. 101"; Poured Watercolor on 10" x 14" Paper.
When I asked how they wanted me to paint it; they said they wanted me to choose.  They did admit to liking my poured watercolors.  Here's one of the photos that I worked off of for their porch.
As you can see, I did a very loose form and played with colors to represent their porch.  I studied the different times of day with the directions of light play.  I also had several different times of year that the photos were taken from.  I will admit I'm partial to the Fall and liked playing with the bare branches of the tree.  Thus, I ended up with the top poured watercolor.  They seemed pleased with adding it to their painting collection. 

I'm currently having a sale on the available 100 Salt Lake City Porches of 25% off.  I'm calling it the RED HOT Summer Sale.  It makes sense when the temps are as high as they've been lately.  You can scroll through the page to look at those available by clicking here.  I welcome any feedback you may have and thanks for visiting.  Now on to the next porch for me!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fun with Water...

I'm still working on catching up with some commissions.  I thought I would have more time with the 4th of July Holiday this last week, but it didn't seem to turn out that way.  But in the meantime, I thought I would post this fun watercolor that I finished up last week.  It features a cycling buddy's daughter and she looks like she's having fun.  I call it "Water Hose Play".  Here is it...
"Water Hose Play"; Watercolor on 10" x 14" Paper.
I was trying to think of cooling thoughts last week with the high temperatures.  I thought this was the perfect subject to be working on.  Enjoy!  I would love to hear your feedback and thanks for visiting!