I gave myself 2 days to work our way home from Gainesville, Florida to Downingtown, Pennsylvania. The one objective was to stay off of Interstate 95. The other objective was to enjoy time with the family while exploring the 5 states that separated us from our home. The actual routes that we were to take were not planned and that was the fun of it. We had a general direction, north and a little bit east. We traveled through the pine groves of Georgia with its scorched underbrush that would make way for the machinery to harvest the trees. As we drove the smell of smoldering ashes thinned and changed to fresh pine as we passed the lumber mill. We continued our journey through lost towns that were once attractions to travelers before the big “95” came. A 12 foot high rusted coffee pot once signaled for tired travelers that need a pick me up. A rusted car perched 10 feet high upon a pole drew attention to the auto repair shop below. The Bob’s Big Boy figure precariously placed upon the A-frame building with its “Antiques” sign caused us to stop and admire someone else’s junk. We thought it was wise for them to keep it instead of making it our junk.
The task of returning home was broken up every six hours with the search of new culinary delights. If there was a big sign introducing the eatery in town, we weren’t interested. We ate, we laughed, we continued on to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is an extremely well designed route that meanders through the Appalachian Mountains. Each curve revealed a breathtaking fresh view of the mountains. It all led us in the general direction of home.
Why and how could I do this? Well, because during the previous 10 days I locked myself in the studio. While in the studio I worked on seven paintings that had a general direction. I had seven sketches made up of general ideas that I wanted to explore and that was the fun of it. I started with the colored backgrounds; adding circles and numbers, knowing they were intrinsic to the composition. The monotony of the backgrounds drove me to rethink it, which in turn made me dust off the airbrush. The smell of musty dust was overtaken by the smell of the fresh coat of hot wax placed on top of it. It’s my attraction to painting with wax that maintains my focus and causes me to easily finish the composition. There were many steadfast techniques that I could of used to reach the final image but I had the time to push and explore.
In the midsts of the painting frenzy, I stopped and followed another thought that peeked my curiosity. So, I followed the whim and painted one outer edge of the cradleboard a bright color. Then, the “word” that I scrawl across every painting got moved to that outer edge. I had meandered my way to a new fresh and breathtaking idea. It was an unexpected turn in the general direction of finishing a painting.