I am sitting on the couch in the really nice and big room that Richie booked for us in a Maryland hotel, three-quarters of the way to Virginia, where we will be for a bike thing. Well, it’s a bike thing for Richie. I take my paints and Maybelle (my sometimes traumatized GPS) and Buddy (the adventure Maltese) and head out to the Blue Ridge Mountains, in search of vistas. And there are vistas a-plenty.
When I find one that gives me that zing, I set up to paint. Despite people coming over to look at what I am doing, which makes me very self-conscious, I persevere until I get a painting done that I like the looks of.
For those of you who paint outdoors, or en plein air as they say, you know that when you look at that picture later, you will smell the air, feel the sun or shadow on your skin again and hear the bird calls—it is that absorbed into you. It becomes more than a memory; it becomes a tangible part of your life.
After completing a satisfying painting, I load everyone back into the car, we head back to the cottage where we are staying and wait for the bicyclists to get back. They are riding a ridiculous amount of miles on back-woods dirt roads, and they feel very manly for doing it. I am satisfied with my day, they are satisfied with their day and when we meet again at the end of the day, we are complete.