Monday, July 18, 2011

To Tour or Not to Tour, before the end of the SUmmer...

If only there was a River Road leading out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, a great bike route that followed a meandering crystal clear cool river full of cascades!

Since I brought Lenora, my very own Long Haul Trucker, home from the bike shop, summer has intensified, and we've had little to no rain anywhere in the state. I purchased some schoolbus-yellow Ortlieb panniers for my planned tour down through the hill country, and have tried to increase my daily distances to build up for the 70-80 miles a day I had planned to do, but I may just need to wait until November before I head out on the open road. Heat exhaustion is not pretty, no matter how interesting the surrounding terrain.

In the mean time, I've been motivated to paint again. A few weeks ago, some friends of Trinity Bikes in Fort Worth went out on a hot ride around Benbrook Lake. One of the riders snapped a picture of the gang resting and clowning around at the intersection of two dirt roads. The picture was so well composed, it reminded me of a Frederic Remington cowboy painting. I decided that the next oil painting I'd attempt would be inspired by that photograph, and so I've begun.

Despite the stagnant heat of my garage "studio," I'm enjoying the smell of turpentine and the challenge of creating a fresh image out of the gummy, sticky tubes of paint that have rested idle for the past 15 years or more in a dry-rotted tackle box in my dusty garage.

 I have an ulterior motive for finishing this work: I have an interview to teach art next week, and they've asked for a portfolio. After years of teaching English, and only sketching in a journal during slack time, I found that I had no finished works of art to show. So, whether I get the job or not, I will feel some satisfaction that I finished a painting, even if I did not tour in the everlasting heat.
Lenora's First Ride: We stopped by the First Friday on the Green, in Fort Worth's Near South before heading north to Saginaw.

Original Photo by Durango Ruiz, a fellow Night Rider and friend of Trinity Bikes.

When I first saw the shot, I imagined that Bryan McKendry, crouching, was adjusting a brake caliper. He later informed me that he was posing for an unseen camera, mocking the way some urban youths brag about the greatness of their wheels. Either way, I'm sure there's a number of stories to be found in this image.

Garage Studio: Goforth Ride Day 2

Adding texture and shaping the riders, day 3

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