I decided to end this challenge where I began... painting cows. When I attended RIT, painting realism wasn't exactly in vogue. Abstracts were king and realistic paintings were old-school. I needed a way to pass my courses without selling my soul… I began painting cows, because the pattern of the black-and-white patches passed as abstractions. My paintings were large and very abstract looking, but in reality, they were very realistic... cow spots. After graduating from Grad school, I became known for my cows. The ladies in this painting stand on this bridge every day at 7:30am and at 7:36am they head out to pasture. You can set your watch by them. If you head down Rt 353, toward Salamanca, look off to your left to see the girls playing bridge.
Today was a "studio" day, because of the rain, wind and cold. I photographed and signed all paintings to date. There are paintings everywhere :-) Since I wasn't going to be painting outside, I decided to work from a reference photo. I took this shot the last time the dogs went swimming, down at the creek. This is Lily in her typical swimming stance, ready for fun.
It you didn't know where little Rock City was, you would drive right by it. The first time I hiked through these beautiful rock passages it took my breath away. Today started out very overcast and (as my Mom always said) the leaves were showing their underware. As everyone knows that's a sure sign of rain, but I got lucky. The sun came out and even though it was windy, I was protected next to the massive rocks. It was fun being among the giants.
I was going to paint Buttermilk Falls in Zoar today, but I received a heads up that it isn't flowing yet, due to the road and bridge repairs. If any of you know differently, please let me know. Instead, I got an early start on painting another old barn on 240, just outside of West Valley. It's getting harder and harder to find these old wooden barns. I feel I need to paint as many as I can before they are gone.
I only had a couple hours before the rain came today, so I had to finish up in the studio. Let's play a little Game... It's sort of like where's Waldo, but we'll call it "where was Robin" :-) This is a fun place to go with your family as long as you don't have any dare devil children. A few years ago an estimated $15,000 in volunteer hours and supplies was put in to cleaning the graffiti off of this historic landmark. Any ideas?
Gosh, I'm starting to feel bad that this challenge will be over in 5 days... I've been so many new places and met so many nice people, all because I was scrambling for places to paint. Today, I planned to paint the old train tressel on the back road to Springville, but the undergrowth had grown so much that it was impossible to see it. I guess that's going to be a winter painting. I went several places and took reference photos, but decided to paint a barn that I had seen on Day 10. The swing and barn reminded me how special it was to grow up as a farm kid. It brought back warm memories.
I have no Idea where I was when I did this painting, but where ever I was, the local population certainly had a show. I was driving home from picking up a friends dog from the Vets office and I decided to take the long way home. After all, are we ever really lost when we have our smart phones with us... ? Well, I was really lost, but just when I was going to go back, I spotted a quaint old barn. I'm a sucker for barns. It was cool out so I knew Lily, my canine companion wouldn't mind extending the car ride, so I began setting up my easel. About 10 minutes into the set up, a gust of wind took my easel and umbrella and tossed it across the field. This continued to happen until I decided that I had enough of the painting completed that it could be finished in my studio.
I've had several requests to paint at the Nannen Arboretum in Ellicottville, NY. When I got there it was very cloudy and the light was casting intermittent shadows. I set up near the Amano Hashidate Bridge and roughly painted in the scene. The sun only peeked out about once every 10 minutes and then for only about 30 seconds at a time. Shadows really complete a painting, so when they appeared I quickly sketched them in.
I've had a lot opportunities to travel around the United States and there are many beautiful places in our nation. No matter where the trip takes me one common thread remains, I always come home with the realization that Western New York is stunning in its beauty. This morning I received a suggestion for a place to paint. I had planned to head in the opposite direction, but decided to check this place out. It is on the very top of Dunkleman Hill, up a steep gravel road. Thank you again to the land owners for allowing me access. The view is so spectacular that I wasn't sure I could capture it on a 6" x 8" panel, So I just painted just a portion.
Today was one of those days that my dear, late husband Tommy would have been standing, smiling, with his arms crossed, shaking his head. It was suggested that I paint the barn in front of Holimont. I had scoped it out and I knew when the light was the best, so I headed over about 9:30 this morning. I parked and decided that the best place would be across the road, but the light wasn't quite right so I decided I had time for a cup of coffee. After getting the coffee I headed back and parked the van behind where I would be painting, so If anyone ran off the road, they would hit the van before they hit me (safety first). I got everything out of the van and began setting up... something seemed wrong... I opened my easel and I realized what it was, I forgot the paint, I FORGOT THE PAINT!!! Everything went back in the van and I headed home to get the paint. An hour later, the easel was up again and I was working on #21.