Monday, July 29, 2013

Doing the Ant Dance and Other Outdoor Activities

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Have you ever watched the froth of ants on the ground just prior to a thunderstorm? I never have before. They scurry back and forth in a literal boil of little ant bodies, frantic to get back to their burrows, bring their food with them and gather any needed supplies before they head back. Much like people making a run on bottled water, disposable diapers, hammer and nails, batteries and toilet paper before the next big one (fill in your own disaster) hits.

Well if I had only looked down, I WOULD have noticed. No. I waited until they were crawling up my leg and yes, they were biting. Darn. That hurt. I thought the view of the oncoming thunderstorm was too good to pass up. So I quickly parked the car, jumped out and set up. Right in the path of an army of ants hurrying back home, toilet paper, water and diapers firmly grasped in their little pincers. (I looked closely after the first few bites.)

Well I wasn’t ready to give up on the painting, and the oncoming clouds meant that I would not have the luxury of a second setup before the rain made my paint unworkable. So I grabbed the ant spray that I carry in the car, and sprayed the ground around my feet. A healthy couple of shots of OFF and a quick ant dance to shake off those I had missed and I got a chance to finish this small piece. My friend Barbara was laughing at me until I noticed that she was seated under a tree. In all fairness, when we started it was the only shady spot around. But it didn’t take long to change. And under a tree is not a safe place in a thunderstorm. Where do all the cattle go I wonder?

So sometimes when you go out to paint, it’s not the hunt for the esoteric. It’s the hunt for the ant spray and the laughter that the ant dance can bring.

Here is McComas Peak Storm.  An oil, at 8x10 it is available and because it is so small and unframed, it is a wonderful bargain. Email me, if you are interested.

Favorite quote of the day

There is in art the notion of less is more, which is to say, you don't torture a painting that has already confessed.                                                                (Robert Brault)


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