Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1863 Miles & 8 States Later


Call me nuts but I love long road trips. I love to pack more clothes than I'd ever need and I want to bring my own pillows. A couple of years back, all the stupid hotel executives around the country decided to use these worthless, short pillows - I just don't get it. Same day they decided to use these ridiculous coffee makers that brew one cup at a time. They should have asked me first.

I left Georgia on a beautiful day, used South Carolina & North Carolina highways, stopped in Asheville to drop off a few new paintings to 16 Patton and headed north, thru the Blue Ridge Mountains.




I passed thru Tennessee briefly then hit the long Virginia highway thru the Shenandoah Valley. Beautiful ride. Despite the constant presence of law enforcement, I boogied on - passing thru West Virginia and Maryland briefly then entering Pennsylvania and reaching Lancaster, my destination.

Why Lancaster? It's time to fulfill a need to paint more landscapes - and to really understand how to paint depth - trees - rural structures .... all of that. The southeast is thick with forests without those open fields and rolling hills. And I remember that land in PA - growing up around Philly my parents loved a Sunday drive around Delaware and Chester County. I simply desired it again.

The first morning was equally as lovely as the day before. Lucky me. My only plan was to drive and take it all in. Learn something. No, I didn't bring my paints and for the first time, I understood why some artists prefer to paint on the spot. I saw values that defined depth and distance. Color choices that would really matter. But I'm taking it all in like a sponge as I snap away.



Just had to include this monster whatever-it-is. It was like a Transformer just casually coming down the road - and no one seemed to be disturbed by it. Life in the country.




What really blew me away were the farms. The rows of produce, dirt, wheat... all kinds of greens and browns. My brain saw abstract paintings constantly. Trees were different, the dirt was different, flowers that had bloomed weeks ago in Georgia were everywhere. Lovely.



Ten hours later I quit. I could have gone another five - it was that stimulating. Very inspiring.

The next day was rain - Mother Nature was telling me to slow down and rest. So I headed east to the Brandywine Valley, had a couple of hours to kill and revisited Longwood Gardens before I called it a day. Superior place. Thank you DuPonts.



The following day I met up with a friend, took in the landscapes of Pennsylvania and Delaware - where you would immediate recognize what Andrew Wyeth painted - stone-covered homes, farms tucked in the trees, grassy fields. Very picturesque and cozy. We had the pleasure of seeing paintings by N C Wyeth, Andrew and his son Jamie. I can't even describe the thrill when I stand before their paintings. I remembered long ago road trips with my mom - who painted and drew scenes from this area for years.




The next day a plan B had to happen - fog, rain, drizzle kind of day - so we took in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a place I practically grew up in, thanks to my mom. We picked a crowded day - with long lines to get into an exhibit that was coming to an end. Here's some crazy people who stood in line for hours. And no, I wasn't one of them.



Had to include the city view from the Rocky steps.



As I headed home early the next day, I thought all in all, I got to visit with good friends, photograph and study gorgeous landscapes, observe how other people live and hopefully bring a new, more realized subject matter to my easel.

So .... I'll be back to painting very soon and hope you'll enjoy the new work ahead.



20 comments:

donna said...

I can't wait! I've missed seeing new pieces, but I loved the travel log.

Cristall said...

Thanks for sharing. I am excited for you!

Becky Brocato said...

I'm looking forward to seeing some wonderful landscapes from your easel!

Mary Anne Cary said...

This is really nice Karen, I'm glad you got to stir the memories of time with your mom and dad. Soup for the soul, as they say. Moving and melancholic! (And great photo ops)

Carolina said...

Hi Karin!
I turned on the musical part of your last post and started to see and read your last one, what a delight!
I am so glad you are having such a wonderful time and sharing it with us with all those beautiful photos. The one showing people in line for the art exhibition looks like one of your paintings!

Sheila Wedegis said...

That was wonderful. I felt like I was right there with you. I can already see your painting looking down at the crowd. Great shot!!!

rahina qh said...

Karen, thank you for sharing that journey with us bloggers, it has a wonderful sense of story-telling: the inside workings of an artist's mind. Looking forward to seeing what inspiration does. r.

Dean H. said...

Karin, thanks for inviting us all along on your great trip via the internet! Thoroughly enjoyable! Looking forward to the resulting artwork.

Pete said...

All I have to say is, I'm jealous. I'd love to take a week, my paints and my dog and drive around painting landscapes. Maybe someday...

Stacy said...

wow, Karen, that intersection of Hempfield Hill Road and Marietta Pike is only about a mile from my house. How refreshing to see and hear your account of my daily stomping grounds through a new, fresh perspective!

Maryanne said...

I live in Chester Co. PA, and love to take a drive out to "Amish country" to buy plants, look around, etc. It is a magical place, seems stopped in time. I understand your impulse to do it again.

I hope you got to see CEZANNE at PMA!

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

I loved the road trip. I know there are great paintings on the way.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

What a great travelogue and inspirational-material-trip! I can't wait to see what happens in your fertile brain and comes out on the canvas!

Aliaena said...

Dear Karin,
To paraphrase Marion Cotillard from the 2008 Oscars "You have rocked my world!" I am passionate about art but a total blogging neophyte and I wanted to let you know that both your art and your generosity are beautiful and inspiring! I was drawn to your work when I saw it mentioned on another site. And what wonderful work! And then, like icing on the cake, your blog is this amazing virtual community center for artists to drop in and have a laugh and a cup of coffee while working on skills and sharing ideas and challenging and encouraging each other. Thank you so much! You have inspired me to go ahead and take the leap myself to do daily work and post it, and I look forward to following your work all along the way (kind of like being on the yellow brick road). Thank you for sharing your many gifts and I wish all good things to you, Aliaena

Kathy said...

Lancaster is a great place! I grew up there and agree that the farms, especially the Amish farms, are incredibly beautiful. Can't wait to see what paintings you produce from this trip!

neetzy said...

My home territory. A beautiful place to paint. I am in York but went to school at Millersville in Lancaster.

adebanji said...

Great Post! You must have had great time!

L.Holm said...

thanks for sharing your journey and inspiration! wonderful post.

Indy said...

Always have enjoyed going up I-81 through Virginia. A beautiful ride.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Loved seeing your photos and painting from Lancaster, PA. I live here and am constantly amazed at the beauty of my surroundings. Longwood Gardens is one of my favorite places too, we go there eevry month.