Saturday, August 14, 2010
100 plein air paintings in 100 days - #97
#97 - "12:01"
Original Oil 6x8"
This is my favourite painting, and my favourite story of the project, so it gets its own post.
I had been painting all day just outside of Calgary (#'s 93-96) and was heading out of the city along a fairly major thoroughfare (Sarcee Trail) when I saw this scene. I was SO captivated by it, but it was 10:30 at night, I still had more than an hour drive to get back to the mountains, I'd already done 4 paintings that day, and it was not the ideal painting location. So I almost kept driving. What motivated me to stop was the project, and the fact that it was almost over. It really seemed like a now or never moment, so I pulled over, put on my hazards, and started painting in the front seat of the car, all the while thinking, "It'll be a miracle if I get this finished without a cop showing up"...
Sure enough, 45 minutes in, flashing lights in my rearview mirror. I unrolled my window as he walked up and said, "Bet you're going to tell me I'm not supposed to be here." He said, "No, I'm just concerned, is everything alright?" As I assured him all was well, he looked into the car and said, "Wow. You're painting..." "Yes," I answered, "I really loved this scene. I know it's not a good spot to stop, I can pack up right now." To which he responded, "No, no, you just keep working and I'll sit behind you with my lights on 'til you're done."
Okay, not the answer I was expecting. I said, "Seriously???" He said, "Yup, go for it". I assured him I would wrap it up in 10 minutes or less, and he replied, "No worries, take as long as you need..."
I did wrap it up in under 10 minutes, because honestly it felt a little too weird having my own police escort while I finished my painting, but this ended up being the finished piece, no studio tweaking. It was ready to be done. When I ran back to thank him, he said, "16 years I've been on the job, and this is a first. It's always something wrong. Happy to help out".
So this painting is dedicated to Darrin from the Calgary City Police, car # 1201. Thanks for looking out for me, and for giving me one of the coolest painting memories of my life. You rock!