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.