Thursday, May 14, 2015

Week two. May 2015.
My painting trip in the High Plains, part one.

I just returned from an amazing ten-day, solo painting adventure in (of all places) south west Nebraska. A spur-of-the-moment impulse, a desire to see lots and lots and lots of sky, and an evening or two on Google Earth led me to book a seat on Amtrak bound for McCook, Nebraska. And nope, I've never been there before and didn't know anyone who actually lives in Nebraska -although I do now.

The two-day train ride on each end was a blast. I spent just about the whole of it in an easy chair in the glass observation car sketching the landscape as it slid by. It was a very civilized studio. If Amtrak's California Zephyr ever runs an Artist-in-Residence program I'll be the first to apply!

Nebraska's state slogan really should be Nebraska: Experience Nice. From the beginning to the end everyone there was exceptionally kind and generous. I arrived at 4 in the morning to find my rental car parked by the depot door with the ignition key under the mat, and, though the motel's office was closed, they hid my room key for me. I parked and painted at the side of the dirt roads and when someone passed by -only one car every two or three hours- they inevitably stopped to see if I was OK. And, to top it off, early in the trip a young rancher pulled over for a visit. It turned out that he's a painter (and a very good one, too), and he gave me directions to some great painting spots that I would have never found. Then the next day he sent me a Google Map pinned with even more locations.That was just plain nice.

East Oak Canyon, 6" x 6", oil on panel, $175 framed.
Please visit my website to buy this painting and to see more of my artwork. 
I am having a show of these plains paintings at Artists in Cahoots during June. The opening reception is Friday, June 5, 5 - 7. Stop in for a visit if you have a chance.

The painting venues were tremendous. Huge skies topped earth striped with winter wheat, plowed dirt and barren plains. Gorgeous clouds. An empty landscape. I painted myself to a nub.

I don't think I could have had a better or more productive time.