Studio Notes

a pair of geese flew by; outside my studio window; i’m glad elephants don’t fly

That’s enough, that’s enough! she shouted.

The past couple of days have been very hot, but I went outside to paint anyway. Without any mode of transportation, I could not walk too far from my studio, and it was very hot so I needed safety close by. To be sure that I will not forget anything, I triple-checked the contents in my backpack. I stopped at this intersection where my friend has to turn to take me to Wilmington, Delaware to catch the train into Philadelphia. As his car made the turn, I would fix my eyes on this house hiding behind these two trees. I did a quick thumbnail sketch, and then unpacked. After I took everything out, I realised that I have forgotten my tripod. Back in the backpack everything went, and I hiked back to my studio to retrieve the tripod. I returned and setup everything again as I mumbled to myself, “there must be a better way for me to do this.”

As I was finishing up my painting, I heard a woman shouting, “THAT’S ENOUGH, THAT’S ENOUGH!” I thought, oh-oh. I turned to look, and there was a woman, rather animated, shouting at me through the opened window of her car. I was worried, and wondered what I had done to offend her. As she animatedly shouted at me, “THAT’S ENOUGH, THAT’S ENOUGH!” I also heard her mentioning a few familiar names of other artists from Studio Rilievo, and then I realised that she was one of the artists from the same atelier, and who also was one of the owners of Country Butcher in Kennett Square. She was teasing me about being out so often painting. Oh how I wished I could have caught her on video.

 

Sweet Victoria. Oil on cotton over panel, 8 by 6 inches.

Sweet Victoria. Oil on cotton over panel, 8 by 6 inches.

Saturday the next day was also hot, but I decided to hike a bit over a mile to the other side of Kennett Square. This time I was extra careful so I would not have to hike back to retrieve a forgotten equipment; such as, a tripod, brushes, paint tubes, or panels. Believe it or not, I really have forgotten one or two of these on other times.

On the other side of Kennett Square was a Superfund site from the 1980s. The area was formerly home to the Noznesky junkyard and the National Vulcanised Fibre plant. Noznesky buried barrels of toxic wastes in their junkyard which obviously contaminated their grounds, but worsened when its neighbour, National Vulcanised Fibre’s plant, caught fire because the water runoff from the junkyard to put out the fire did severe damage to the surrounding environment. Red Clay Creek was severely affected.

The area was recently declared safe for human habitation, thus the new developments going on in the area. I wanted to do at least one painting of something here, and this tank was the first thing that caught my interest because this landscape will soon become another memory of Kennett Square.

Alas, about an hour into painting, I was hot and parched. I forgot to bring along drinking water. Again, I mumbled to myself, “there must be a better way to do this.” That afternoon was the last time that I shall deal with this.

That’s enough. As soon as I got back to my studio to shower and recover, I went online to search for a bike trailer to carry my equipment and still have room for other things, like snacks and drinks.

The Vines. Oil on linen over panel, 8 by 12 inches.

The Vines. Oil on linen over panel, 8 by 12 inches.

After spending all evening researching for a bike trailer, I settled on one commonly used for transporting a child or a pet. I settled on this one because it was very light and easily collapsible for storage. The main reason for choosing this trailer was because most motorists believe that there is a child or a pet in this trailer, so they will use extra caution approaching and driving around me. The next two days of testing proved correct. Even truck drivers slowed down to carefully drive by me. The only exception was the school bus drivers. They did not slow down but quickly approached me and zoom past me.

Burley Bee trailer and Bromptom folding bike

Burley Bee trailer and Bromptom folding bike

My new bike trailer was money well spent. It perfectly paired with my foldable bike which I have purchased back in 2012. I was able to cover more area in a short period than when I hiked with a 40 pound backpack, and I was also able to carry a bit more, such as, snacks and water.

With this new setup, I was able to make two round trips between the Superfund site and my studio. I came back with these two outdoor sketches from the site, the Water Tank, and the Red Truck.

Finally, that’s enough of hauling over forty pounds of equipment on my back. I hope.