Lady on Beach Challenge Painting

Lady on Beach Challenge Painting

The Challenge Paintings

Every six weeks or so I do a challenge painting. So what is a challenge painting you ask? It is a challenge put out by usually an artist on the internet on a blog or a web page and other artists are encouraged to take the challenge , paint the version of the challenge and send it in. Then all are displayed so everyone can see them and add their comments.
I have joined a few of these challenges during the last year and find it very interesting to see the different ways art happens and the amazing ability of many kinds of artists.
The challenge this month on was to paint a portrait of a lady. A photo was given . On the original photo the lady was shown placed on a very complicated background so when I painted my effort I decided to simplify the portrait by placing her with the beach as a background. The other half of the fun of doing these challenges is to see how each artist interprets the challenge.
I have found over the months that this has encouraged me in a very positive way to find new ways of painting with different media. If you are an artist or even just like to paint to find a challenge and try it. I think you will like it.



Racing Old Cars at Laguna Seca

Racing Old Cars at Laguna Seca

The 2 historic Mini Cooper S
The main reason we went to Monterey this summer was to see our son Trevor race at Laguna Seca, the lovely racetrack set in the hilly country close to Monterey. Trevor had once owned a racing Mini Cooper S car , which he had sold to another enthusiast Robert. The car was part of a pair of historic Mini Coopers that had raced together in the early 60s and obviously had done well. Robert the owner now of both cars , which he had restored and prepared for racing, invited Trevor to race one and Robert would race the other. It would be like the old days.
As it was Trevor’s birthday as well we decided to make a vacation around seeing the race and visiting the area. I’m so glad we did.It was most interesting.

Although my whole family is very much interested in cars of all kinds and have all dabbled in racing, I am not an enthusiast. This was very different though. The cars that would be racing were all historic cars and it would be a very selective group of cars that you see at these races. There is great competition to get a chance to be selected to race here.
Watching the races I was surprised at how fast these earlier race cars can go and even though all the race drivers are still very much into winning, they are all taking more care not to have any accidents or scrapes with another car because without doubt these cars are all worth a great deal of money. The fun part for the racers was to again race these historic older cars and they certainly did just that. The races were not long just about 10 minutes for each group of races and the track is so designed that you can see really well for a great part of the action. We sat in the stands and enjoyed the atmosphere .( but not the noise,- you really needed ear plugs!!)

It was also very interesting to walk around the paddock as well and see all the other beautiful old cars. I was very interested in the really old ones and especially the pride of the owners and racers in these magnificent beauties.


The Seaside beach

The Seaside beach

One of my English friends asked me which seaside we went to on our vacation.
In England the seaside refers to any beach by the sea so I can understand her inquiry.
I told her that the name of the town was Seaside and wasn’t that a lovely name. It really makes you want to visit when you are sitting in Texas and the temperature is hitting 104 degrees. The other city close by is Sand City. Another interesting name but not quite so welcoming at Seaside.
When we visited the lovely beach at Seaside , California close to Monterey it was about 70 degrees.
The morning beach/sea mist had not completely disappeared and a slight breeze was blowing. The only other people we saw on the beach was a couple walking their dogs. They were soon lost in the mist.
Lots of birds were there looking for breakfast and anything that had been washed up in the tide. They were mostly seagulls and I could see they were thinking, “Now here’s another pair of people to disturb us.”

We walked along the beach on the damp sand in bare feet and I thought this really makes for a great vacation. I am very pleased we went.

Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited.

Alpine, TX
Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited.
This train runs from New Orleans to L A and we joined it on the 2nd day of our trip at San Antonio. We were sleeping in our carriage at the time so really didn’t know we were joining it. We awoke to find ourselves at dawn on the track going through the south west Texas desert/scrub land. Not really a pretty scene. We had one smoking stop where the train got refueled and Mike got out to take some photos of the Texas town of Alpine really close to the Big Bend area
Mural on wall in Alpine
During the day we went to breakfast , lunch and dinner and the scenery gradually changed to more desert than scrub land and brown and blue mountains appeared on the horizon. We were passing through Arizona and the scenery was more interesting especially as the clouds were forming over the mountains and then a small shower rained on us and there was even a rainbow forming over the mountains.
Somewhere in Arizona
Pretty soon it was time to go to bed again as we knew we would be up early as 6 am was the train arrival time for LA.

Well for a change Amtrak was early- very early as it arrived just after 4 a.m. We were off at 5a.m.and sat around the beautiful , but well used, Union Station.
Union Station LA
 It was pretty cool sitting in the station waiting for dawn until a restaurant opened so we could have breakfast. By 10 am we were on the next train the Coastal Starlight heading for our final destination Monterey.

Plogging 2

All I want to do is to write a simple daily blog with thoughts, photos and occasional paintings.( hence Plogging) I have been doing this on another program but ran into so many problems I thought I would try WordPress and see how this goes. Surely this can’t be so difficult or can it!! So far , so good.

I have just returned from a train trip and a visit to Monterey so expect lots of photos. Paintings will come later! The photo below is from the train window travelling through Arizona.