Stage 8 Cazeres-sur-Garonne to Loudenvielle 140 km; 3701 total climbing; 1748m Max elevation ; 13% max grade; 3 climbs 1 sprint. I read a comment on Twitter from one of the best riders that they thought the way the tour was laid out with one sprint in the middle of difficult climbs each day leads to sprinters mixed in with the climbers for too long in the race each day. I guess we will see as they go into the Alps next week.
This stage turned out to be as exciting as yesterday's race. The French Primate Minister was a guest in the Official Race car today.
13 riders were in the breakaway. It was mentioned that the Pyrenees can be scarey because they are shorter and steeper than those in the Alps. I posted a photo of the windy descent above if you don't think that isn't true.
If I were to be there in person I would probably choose to be at the roadside on a climb so you can actually see the entire Tour come by a lot slower and can cheer them on. Even with Covid-19 masks were worn by all the fans and Tour officials and some of the fans get very carried away with how close they come to the riders near the top. Chris Horner told us after his Tour in Bend (Joe participated) that it really pumps the riders up to have fans cheering and running beside them as they getting towards the top of a climb. It still makes me nervious, especially when they touch them!
A race favorite to win the Tour coming in is Thibaut Pinot from Groupama-FDJ was off the back with his team surrounding him, encouraging him to keep going and this was to be the story of the day because his hopes to keep cclose to the other favorites were now dashed.
The breakaway did very well the entire way to the finish. Nans Peters of AG2$ La Mondiale won the stage. American Neilson Powless again was in the breakaway attacking and almost crashed rounding a corner into the grass with the fans and came right back out again like nothing had happened - he finished 5th.
Stage 7 will be known as the Block Buster Stage for years to come. Not only did the wind play a factor in the race but Bora Hansgrohe sent the entire team to the front to set such a fast pace that it dropped off most of Sagan's sprinter competitors so it would clear the way for the Stage win he wants to badly. Unfortunately his chain dropped right at the end of race while sprinting. He still retained the green jersey but it is much closer competition going to Paris. Adam Yates retains the Yellow Jersey.
Thomas de Gendt attacked and stayed away for ahwile but the main contendors for the sprint finish caught him and it was a finish to watch again.
This Stage is 168 km; 2110 total climb; 880m max elevation; 9%max grade; 3 climbs; 1 sprint.
Stage 6 on Thursday September 3rd from Le Teil to Mont Aigoual Observatory. 191 km 3149 total climb; 1590m max elevation; 14$ max grade with 3 climbs and 1 sprint. The last 26 miles are uphill in stair step climb. The countryside was really beautiful and I tried to capture some of the scenery in the photos above. 172 riders left in Tour.
There was some discussion of how penalties were assessed in past tours with fines more often than a combination of fines and time penalties. They didn't recall any cyclist wearing the yellow jersey ever had been penalized with time and usually it isn't as much. Alaphilippe seemed to take it in stride and plans on getting the jersey back.
From the start Nicholas Roche attacked followed by 7 others to form a perfect breakaway which was a surprise to the teams in the Peloton. Maybe since no one was a threat to any of leaders in the jerseys. They never caught them. Nicholas has been a favorite of mine for years and in 2015 I painted him along with Peter Sagan, Alberto Contador and Matthew Ladagnous because they had shown such good qualities to work for the team and they were outstanding cyclists in their own right. See my painting of Nicholas Roche above when he rode for Sky.
Breakaway riders cooperated the entire length of the race with one another: USA cyclist Neilson Powless turned 24 today and was feeling amazing to be in such strong experienced company in the breakaway. He admitted in the after interview he probably shouldn't have attacked the 2nd time to save his energy for the finish but he came in 4th -- not bad for his first tour. Alexey Lutsenko of Astana rode away from Herrada, Van Avermat, Powless and Roche to win the stage. Astana had not won a stage in a decade. Herrada was 2nd, Van Avermat 3rd. Adam Yates retained the yellow jersey and Roglic is 3 seconds behind him.
Please leave comments about specific kind of photos you might like to see in future stages. e.g., more cyclists or more scenery???
I need to let you know there is a 3rd American in the Tour de France that somehow I overlooked when I was looking through the team rosters: Sepp Kuss of the team Jumbo-Visma. He is doing very well so wanted you to be watching for him.
Today's stage: 183 km Gap to Privas 165 riders. There was an intermediate sprint which Sam Bennett was the first over the line and became the "virtual" green jersey winner as Sagan was 5h and now 7 pts behind in the tally. There was an interview with Tiesj Benoot of Sunweb who had crashed yesterday dramatically over the guard rail and only hurt a couple fingers -- good news. This stage saw no attacks and breakaways -- the announcers weren't sure that had ever happened before except for an incident of nature or problem on the course.
The tour entered the Drone Department and there is a lot of things to see here: lavendar has grown here since the middle ages; good cycling roads, beautiful scenery, and good eating. There was a little interview with a "black olive" farm owner--60% of these olives are grown here. Lots of fruits grown here so the desserts are also well known.
Won Van Ert who was the "super domestique" who set the fast pace up the climb from yesterday's peloton run-in to the finish ending up winning today's stage! It was a close finish with Cees Bol from Sunweb who had the ideal lead out train to put him in a good place to win. Very exciting.
The Yellow Jersey changed hands after the race had finished due to a violation charged against Julian Alaphilippe who had received a water bottle within the 12.5 mile limit for taking on water. Adam Yates was 2nd so was called out of the shower to put on the Yellow Jersey.
Stage 4 Nice Moy Sisteron to Orcieres-Merlette: September 1st. 160.5 km 3252m total climbing 1820m max elevation 5 climbs 1 sprint. This is the first summit finish at a ski resort. 6 cyclists broke away from the start. N. Politt won the first 4 mountain top points but only Krists Neilands stuck it out for 153 miles and 7.5 miles from the finish before being caught by the Peloton (seen above). The scenery was beautiful today and there were interesting resorts and the observatory along the route. Despite the steep climb with switchbacks, the teams lined up to race for the finish with 1km left. Wout Van Aert set such a fast pace that no one came around him until he peeled off. It got rid of all but 16 cyclists. The fast run-in to the finish included the favorite sprinters and Primoz Roglic emerged the winner so is now in 3rd place overall - 7 seconds behind Julian Alaphilippe who retained the yellow jersey for another day. Sagan will wear the Green Jersey. The question of the day is how many days will Alaphilippe retain the jersey -- he held it for 13 days last year.
Nice to Sisteron and another day of rain for a lot of the ride. Last year and this year they mount a camera on a rider's helmet so it can take photos of the riders behind him. The images are somewhat distorted from the bouncing of the tires and the speed but the images make for possible abstract paintings.
I learned that the white lines down the middle and along the sides of roads are slick in the rain but great during a time trial when it is dry. 2 tons of hand sanitizer has been distributed by the Tour to the public.
This stage was one climb after another with quick descents. The professional cyclists all have electronic gears and just have to push a button to change gears.
Three riders were in the breakaway from the start Perez, Cousins and Cosnecov (wearing polka dot jersey). There were points to be earned in the mountains today and Perez managed to win the most points and so he took away the polka dot jersey to wear tomorrow. Unfortunately he crashed and broke his collarbone. I sure hope they give him the jersey as a keepsake but Cosnecov will be in the jersey tomorrow. Sagan won the intermediate sprint and so will be in the green jersey tomorrow. Julian Alaphilippe remains in the yellow jersey and was playing it safe on this stage. J Cousins who rode in the breakaway most of the 182 miles alone before the peloton caught him with 16 miles to the finish line and will wear the "red" number as Most Aggressive Rider. The scenery was spectacular today and I got quite a few images of scenery, interesting architecture and some good images of the cyclists in the spints. We haven't visited this particular part of France but it definitely is on the list for the next trip.
Stage 2 began with only 3 riders dropped due to broken bones but there was a lot of bandages visible in the group that the commentators used the term "mummies." The weather was perfect and the day would be a difficult one of climbing and the final descent was not only spectacular as you can see above but the roads were narrow. All managed to come through this part of the course.
8 riders broke away at the start and 6 managed to stay away getting all of the intermediate sprint points. Kristoff wearing the yellow jersey couldn't keep up with the peloton so the yellow jersey was up for grabs. Peter Sagan was in the breakaway for the 23rd time at the Tour but went back to the Peloton midway. The breakaway wasn't caught until 25 miles to the finish.
Back together it wasn't long before teams organized for the final sprint and finish. Favorites emerged: Julian Alaphilippe, Adam Yates was a bit of a surprise, and a newcomer, Marc Hirschi broke away with enough time between them and the peloton for one of them to win the stage and put on the yellow jersey. In the photos above it was an interesting finish which involved tactics, power, and patience. Julian proved once again to have the right amount of each to win the stage and put the yellow jersey as he did in 2019. I painted him last year in the painting above and glad he was able to resume that quest again.
I learned an interesting fact about the slippery roads around Nice when it rains. Evidently the sap from the olive trees can leak down onto the roads and make them slick as glass. So the caution was totally called for yesterday.
I love the saying that was repeatedtoday: "You can't win the Tour today but you can lose it." Cautionary advice to many young and anxious riders. Again all precautionary measures were taken by fans, staff, volunteers, and the fans to keep the Corona Virus away from the Tour. Aman.
I got up at 4:45 am to watch the opening ride behind the pace car and see who was actually riding in the Tour this year. Several of the best known riders are not there this year. Chris Froome is still recovering from his injuries from over a year ago but is planning on being in great form for the Vuelta de Espana in September. Several well known cyclists such as Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavandish were not selected by their respective teams based on their earlier performances in tours over the past several months. Several cyclists were injured in the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné in midi-August and had not recovered enough from their injuries.
An unexpected rainstorm hit the City of Nice shortly after the start of Stage 1 this morning and played havoc with the narrow, windy roads. Crashes happened throughout the race and I'm sure the team doctors and local hospitals will be looking over a large number of the cyclists this evening. I have not heard if all the cyclists finished within the time limit because of the first crashes and having to ride the entire way without any other cyclists to pull them along.
As could have been anticipated, three riders created a breakaway right out of the start and stayed away until 58K to the finish line. One of them qualified for the King of the Mountains, Polka Dot Jersey to wear tomorrow and the other who crashed right at the 3M line gets to wear the "red" number tomorrow at the most combative rider.
I thought you would find it important that all the fans by the roadside and people involved in the ceremony were wearing masks, including the winners on the stage. No kisses this year. They have gone to every length to keep everyone in the Tour safe. George Bennett called for the peloton to stage a "truce" on the final descent because the roads were so slick. They didn't want any more injuries and to give the cyclists who had crashed a chance to catch up at the rear of the peloton. George crashed again at the end but finished within the time limit. Astana broke the "truce" at one point and almost immediately on a corner, their leader, Lopez's, bike lost control and he crashed into a sign. He got back up and hopefully is okay.
Race Results: It was a sprint finish and Alexander Kristoff of UAE pulled off a very strategic finish going around Peter Sagan at just the right moment to win Stage 1 and the Yellow Jersey and the Green Jersey. He was very happy to finally win a stage but most importantly get to wear the Yellow Jersey tomorrow. M. Pederson will be wearing the white jersey as Best Young Rider and he finished 2nd. I think Peter Sagan will wear the Green Jersey tomorrow.
Hope tomorrow's weather because it will be a tough day of climbing.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the routes of the 21 stages. The official start list of the 107th Tour de France has been released with 176 riders divided in 30 different nationalities. We have only 2 Americans this year.
- Defending champion Egan Bernal expressed his ambitions as well as Frenchman Thibaut Pinot who was forced to a dramatic abandon last year.
- Stage 1 from Nice to Nice will develop 156 kilometres. It suits the sprinters like Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Giacomo Nizzolo and Peter Sagan.
NOTE: They’ll move into a bubble as part of the anti-Covid-19 measures.
We saw that the death of George Floyd caused a unanimous outcry from all Americans.
The marches have called attention to the frustrations with the lack of progress over the last several decades to bring education and opportunity to the suppressed African American communities in so many of our cities.
I'm proud that Portland for one night brought a peaceful interactive protest to Portland's living room (Pioneer Square) and the Burnside bridge 9-minute "Lay Downs". It was so sad to see 100 thugs and Atifa instigators ruin last night's (June 2nd) peaceful march.
We can take our community back from these criminals who prey on the situations where people are suffering. We can help our Black community start businesses and help in making sure our inner city black youth get the best education possible. It will be our "actions" rather than just "words" that will make it happen.
To bring Americans back together we have to put aside political differences. After all, our lives have been consumed with politics for the past 3+ years and that doesn't allow us to have the normal balance anyone should want to have in our lives. I look at each person I know and I see so many wonderful attributes and differences that have nothing to do with politics. Let us take a step back and take a breath -- remember who we were prior to our last election. Use your gifts now to restore order so we can make some progress in putting America on track in all aspects of our lives.
The looting and wrecking of businesses made me sick to my stomach. I remember when our children were young and took something that didn't belong to them, they had to return it to the store and face the music. That only had to be done once. I wonder what the parents today will do when their children come home after the riots with merchandise they had no right to take. Will they be made to return it? I can only wish. The looters were from other places according to the arrest reports so the business owners who were hurt the most probably will not see this happen.
I wish more of our politicians had been business owners prior to being elected so they could be better prepared for pandemics and rioting and the affect on the business community. I'm going to take that into consideration before I vote this November--looking more closely at the background of the people running for office.
I'll get off my soapbox now. It’s very hard to be creative knowing all this negativity and hatred is raging throughout our country. I’m not going to paint it for posterity because no one should have to go through all this ever again.
I'm also praying that the virus will not spring up with so many people exposed during the marches. I guess we'll have to wait for a couple weeks to see if it is going to resurface.
SHERWIN-WILLIAMS REVEALS A CALMING NAVY HUE AS ITS 2020 COLOR OF THE YEAR
Inspired by the Roaring 20's, "Naval" works for just about any space.
It's no secret that paint can transform an interior in an instant, and this year, top designers have been experimenting with navy tones in fresh, unexpected ways. Sherwin-Williams is getting in on the design trend by revealing Naval SW 6244, a bold navy shade, as its 2020 Color of the Year.
“The use of color in interior design is changing. It’s not just about what a space looks like anymore, but how it makes you feel,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical and emotional well-being. Naval is reminiscent of the night sky, which people have looked to for centuries for guidance, as a muse and as a reminder to live more mindfully.”
My advice in using this color is on one wall in any given room where there is plenty of natural light as well as lighting at all levels in the room. Look how great the artwork looks on the wall when it is neutral. Orange being its complement really pops and so would art or on smaller accessories if you don’t want to be too bold. 2020 is a year of the Rat, starting from January 25th, 2020 and lasting until February 11th, 2021. It will be a Metal Rat year. Rats are quick-witted, resourceful, and smart but lack courage. With rich imaginations and sharp observations, they can take advantage of various opportunities well. In Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness, so people born in a Rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous.
2020 Forecasts by Chinese Zodiac
The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. According to the Chinese zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to take him on a ride to cross the river and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, so the rat won the race and became the first of the zodiac animals. The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. A Rat year occurs every 12 years.
My sign is a: Pig when entering my day month and year of birth
Lucky numbers: 2, 5, 8
Lucky colors: yellow, gray, brown, gold
My Luck in 2020
Work: 4 out of 5 stars Wealth: 4 out of 5 stars
Love: 3 out of 5 stars Health: 4 out of 5 stars
I thought it was a fun exercise and helped me select my word for 2020: Decisive
2019 Year End Summary:
For me the business side of being an artist needed to be evaluated. Over the years I have usually framed paintings when finished, especially watercolors and paintings on Yupo to protect the artwork. I’ve done this because most people can’t see how the painting will look in their home or office without it being matted and framed. This has been an upfront extra expense which I was willing to incur, but my storage space was at capacity.
Painting time quality: In recent years I set aside time to prepare my art for shows each month of the year. This time cut into my quality painting time.
So I made the decision to enroll in a course on Gallery Representation. I have learned a lot and am close to the end of the course. My energy and time has been spent doing what one had to be done to achieve gallery representation. This will give me more quality time to paint and less time spent on marketing on my own.
I will continue to look for new places to display. If you know of a favorite retail establishment where art is being displayed on a rotating basis, please shoot me a text or email so I can check it out. (971-64-5031) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Year Stats: Weebly changed the way they reported visits to the website in July to only new visitors so it is no longer a way for me to look at visitors to my site overall.
Top 20 Viewed Original Paintings on my Website in 2019
Avignon Inner City
Fall Colors in the Forest
Willamette Stone Path
Avignon Side Street Visitors
Fiery Cloak of Autumn
Floats and Nets Drying
The Gratitude Rose
Crosswind Paceline Shadows
Among the Waterlilies
Zanzibar Door Hinge
Where Our Travels Lead Us
Cave Drawing Memories
Figures in Abstract
He Rules the Roost II
Friendly French Donkey
Froome Wheels to Vuelta Victory
NW Blue Heron
The Chef At Work
Salmon Street Springs Fountain Fun
Here’s to a successful year for each of you in your personal and business!
I need to get busy and create my "wishlist" for Christmas. Of course the most important wish is that each person in my life be blessed with good health and success in whatever they are doing in their personal life as well as their career or job. Let each person know when sending out your holiday cards that you are proud of them and check on how they are doing.
Second: I'm wishing to work on changing my priorities so more time can be spent with my friends and family doing things together - just even having coffee or lunch with a friend will be something that helps to keep the balance in our lives that is so needed. Just making a phone call to have a conversation is a start.
Third: if there is an organization where there are annual fees to be paid or making a tax deductible donation in his/her name is always helpful and welcomed. My children teamed up to make a donation to the 100 Club of WSO one year and that was a gift I will always remember.
Fourth: there is always a need to replenish art supplies. So if you aren't sure exactly what is needed, a gift certificate to the artist's favorite local art store or online store is always welcomed. Or a gift certificate to the artist's framing store.
Fifth: How about a date to the local art museum or other art event happening in your area. Sometimes there are new movies out that relate to art in some way -- make a date to see one of them. Also you can purchase or rent movies to have a date night at home. Of course seeing a play or favorite musician or singer would be great too.
Sixth: If your artist has mentioned another artist's art, especially a specific piece of art, that will be not only nice for her but also her artist friend if you can surprise her/him with a purchase.
Well, this is a start. What would you add to your list for the artists you know?
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday -- whatever you are celebrating! My wish for you is to be surrounded by people you love sharing good food and enjoying the traditions of the season. Don't forget the great conversations. I am forever grateful for the gift of being able to create art and share it with you.
I couldn't wait to proudly post that a young American cyclist won Stage 15 at the Vuelta de Espana on Sunday. It was an amazing race with different cyclists in several breakaways during the race. He usually is supporting the Red Jersey Primoz Roglic but he was riding safely in the Peloton 5 minutes behind his breakaway group so he waited. When he figured he could win the stage he took off and none of the other riders could catch him. I had heard that he had "chugged" the beer, which is a celebration for the stage winner from their sponsor each day. Yes, he did -- a first I guess! So cute. The other thing about him is with 50 meters to go on a steep climb he started Hi-Fiving the crowd all the way to the finish line. His smile tells it all. He is 24 years old and last year attended University of Colorado. Another American cyclist, Lawson Craddock on EF Education finished 7th.
Today's race, Stage 17 was the longest on this year's Tour, 219 Km. He gets the honor of finishing the race in record time for all races of this length to date. This was Philippe's second stage win of this tour. I've never seen so many in the breakaway -- more than in the Peloton. Of course one by one the breakaway cyclists get called back to support their team leader or just have had enough of the fast pace which they were going. The last part of the race was at around 60 km.
I loved the wonderful ruins and castles which have been maintained in today's venue. Tomorrow's race has four climbs so it will be a totally different race with probably different winners.
Andorra to Cortals Dencamp 167 Riders <100 Km stage. A stage for the climbers. Youngest rider in the race Polachar from UAE, 20 years of age, won the stage. He is from Slovania. Quintana finished 2nd to put on the Red Jersey. A hail storm greeted the cyclists near the finish and affected a couple of riders in the lead breakaways who crashed in the rain on this section of the course one was Lopez. The leader of the breakaway was called back to help Quintana and was visibly upset to do so but the interesting point is you ride for the team unless they turn you loose. Movistar has had a rough year deciding who to support Quintana or Valverde.
Stage 1 Team Time Trial Salinas de Torrevieja to Torrevieja 7.3 KM 22 Teams in race. Favorite Jumbo Visma crashed on a corner after water on roadway in previous corner all but 3 of the teams went into the barriers and thus ended up 40 seconds behind the winning team of Astana. Because of their win the first teammate to finish will wear the red jersey starting in Stage 2. Miguel Angel Lopez -- the 8th Columbian to wear the "red" jersey and win a stage. The scenery in this part of Spain was great -- loved the salt mine start --- looked like snow. The finish was near sunset over the port since the race started later in the day.
Sorry that I wasn't able to post the last couple of weeks. It was my error in trying to add different data analytics to this site. I appreciate the staff from Weebly, Malwarebytes and Google Analytics in getting me back up. Everything is okay and this website is secure.
The Tour this year has been remarkable in new achievements and exciting moments, especially for the French cyclists who have come to the forefront in winning stages and holding the yellow jersey. The script I had drafted disappeared so I'm going to post a few photos with captions. This next week should have spectacular scenery and is projected to be the most difficult final week in the history of the Tour. There has been a different stage winner through Stage 15 when Simon Yates got his 2nd win -- this hasn't happened in the last 25 years!
I created two paintings from photos I shot while streaming the Tour and they are shown below. They are both 8x8 watercolor on paper and will be either matted/framed to 13x13 or sealed and put in a floater frame. I'm looking forward to painting a few more before the tour ends.
The photos above were taken while streaming the Tour de France during stages 2 and 3.
I really had to share the top left photo of Mark Cavendish with the young man who tweeted Mark saying he would like to ride with him since he wasn't chosen by his team to ride in the Tour de France. Mark is the kind of man who took him up on the offer!
I love the team time trials because of the importance of the "team" in order to win. It reminds me of the sport of swimming when you are on a relay and the points you get by swimming on a relay and how those points affect the team who wins the event. The helmets and bikes are designed for ultimate efficiency and streamlining over the 17 miles in this year's course. Since Luke won Stage 1 their team went last (middle top photo). Team INECO (formerly Sky) was in first place a good portion of the day and thought they had it won, but the excitement of their team wearing the yellow jersey carried over to the entire team and they ended up with the fastest time of the day (middle row left photo).
I wanted to show you a couple photos from Stage 3 - Luke was wearing the ;yellow jersey and wasn't expected to be wearing it at the end of the stage. (middle photo middle row). At the start of Stage 3 you see him and the other jersey winners lined up at the front of the cyclists waiting for the start of the race. There was an expectation that Anaphilippe might win this stage -- and he did (bottom left). He had a handshake from Eddie Merckz at the start--hmmm. He had a great ride and left no doubt he was at the Tour to ride into Paris.
The middle bottom photo is of Le Moulin de Verzenay in the middle of France's champagne growing region. It is the last surviving 19th Century grain mill on the windswept Mont Rizan. The mill served as an observation post in the 1914-18 war and as an observation post for the American army in 1944.
Ruinart is the oldest established Champagne house, exclusively producing champagne since 1729 and one lucky commentator got to give us a visit there. Impressive area with mile after mile of vineyards.
Back to painting and my course........ have a nice day -- hope you enjoy the sport of cycling and the Tour de France.
Well this morning around 2:00 AM Pacific time the Tour de France (TdF) started in Belgium with Stages 1 and 2.
There are several key reasons why this Tour will be important. First, the yellow jersey will be awarded to the overall winner for the 100th time. The Tour will celebrate the 50th anniversary of five-time winner Eddy Merckx’s first victory. The race began with him dropping the start flag from the Director's car. Paul Sherwan passed away last December and will be greatly missed as one of the key commentators of this event. Phil Liggett and Bob Roll will be doing the honors. In the studio after the stage Christian VanDerVeer and Chris Horner (from Bend) who retired this year from cycling will head up the analysis following each stage. Bradley Wiggins, 2012 winner of the Tour is riding along on one of the motorbikes and will be delivering podcasts throughout. I also enjoy Jens Voigt's analysis out on the road during the race.
Several key faces will not be in the tour this year due to injuries in previous tours: Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin. Mark Cavendish was not selected to be one of the seven from his team. Stage 1 wasn't expected to have as many exciting moments or crashes and a photo finish with a surprise winner. Jakob Fuglsang, one of the top cyclists expected to do well, crashed but managed to hang on to finish. It was unknown whether his injuries will allow is return. Dylan Groenewegen was favored to win Stage 1 but crashed within the last 3 miles of the race so his teammate decided to go for the win. Geraint Thomas hit the footing of a barrier but wasn't injured.
Sagan and Teunissen sprinted to a photo image with only a few cm giving the win to Teunissen. The first cyclist from Holland to win a stage in 30+ years. The final miles of the stage come back into Brussels and it reminded me of when they return to Paris -- in and out of the tunnel (but only once here). I liked the pink hat being thrust out near the finish line.
I always get tempted to paint scenery, castles and churches when I watch the Tour. I always hope to catch come fans doing something interesting with a cyclist in view of them. I love to paint the shadows of the bikes. I have developed some favorites over the years and Peter Sagan is one of my favorite. The sprint finishes are my favorite in capturing the effort and strain on their faces. There are several new young cyclists who emerged in the tours leading up to the TdF. I'll be watching for them to win a few stages.
I always want to give them as much publicity as I can because it is a grueling sport. My husband, brother, and cousin all are hooked on riding local races. We had hoped to get to France so they could ride some of the same routes on the Tour but so far health issues haven't allowed us that wonderful trip.
If you were collecting cycling art, what kind of paintings would you prefer? cyclists riding, scenery with cyclists, portraits of yellow jersey winners - please comment if you have a preference.
This was a trip of a life-time and I highly recommend it to everyone - young and old. There is not only a lot of geography to learn about the glaciers but there is a majesty to seeing them right in front of you. The Eurodam was an excellent choice because the people who chose it were really interested in the history and culture of Alaska and its Native American and Russian influences. I can't imagine living in either Juneau or Sitka where the only way in and out is by boat or plane.
Two things that were really of interest to me as an artist was learning that the hand-made tools used to carve the totem poles by a master carver. Each mark that is made with their tools is like a signature or brushstroke of an artist.
Our tour guide is a member of the Tlingit tribe. The Tlingit tribes' artwork is also frequently functional. Their artwork often consists of clothing and carvings, including canoes and totem poles, which are still well-recognized today. The tools generally used for carving are knives, traditionally made of shell, stone or bone, depending on the artist and what its purpose. The materials that are carved were bone of sheep or goat, and most often wood. Many types of wood are found in the southeastern panhandle of Alaska; some major species include cedar (both yellow and red) for totems and canoes, and finally, alder is used in making dishes and utensils for eating since that wood does not impart its taste onto food. Totem poles always tell a story, since the Tlingit culture traditional is an oral culture with minimal written history. Each animal on a totem pole represent family crests or tells a specific story.
The totem pole of Seward who purchased Alaska from the Russians for the US was really interesting. He had traveled to AK 3 times before the agreement was reached. Each time he had been given a gift. He evidently never figured out that one is to give a gift of "equal" value when you return. So the figure has a red nose and ears to depict his embarrassment for not knowing.
We visited a little shop in Ketchikan where the proprietor wanted to become a master carver. One has to start with learning to make the paint; traditionally this was done mostly by the women. “totem poles were painted with a type of fish-egg tempera, consisting of a mineral pigment mixed with a mordant of fresh salmon eggs and saliva. The colors originally were red, black, and green or blue. The red was obtained from hematite, the black from graphite and carbon, and green/blue from various copper ores common in the region.” She said that one would have to chew and chew to get the base to the right consistency before adding the color from berries or other materials. She didn't eat salmon for 4 years after learning this part of becoming a master carver. Today modern day paint is used instead.
I wanted to report on one of the most fun one-day workshops I have taken. At the OSA (Oregon Society of Artists) classroom on April 20th Linda Rothchild Ollis taught a class on "Creating with Courage." Most artists know that the blank paper, canvas, or other surface presents a challenge each time we start a new piece of art. Linda has created a workshop where there are no expectations in anything created in the workshop. We used specific paint, Yupo and treated paper, and applied different stencils with a foam roller. The four pieces below represent my journey as I let myself just create whatever I could think of with the tools available. I had recently purchased 4 plastic rollers with different designs and used one of them in the workshop. See the lower left painting for the pattern it created. Since it is spring -- time to clean out all the drawers and closets where we have stored our craft and sewing items you have collected over the years. You might be pleasantly surprised to see what other kind of stencils you can use in your art I have always been attracted to black and white art so this was really a treat. I would highly recommend taking this workshop from Linda any time it is offered or see if you can arrange with her to come to your group to "create with courage." You can find her on Facebook and she has made a You Tube video as well.
Origin and history of the Easter bunny
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Easter? As a Christian, the first image might be the cross or the empty tomb. For the general public, a blitz of media images and merchandise on store shelves makes it more likely that the Easter Bunny comes to mind. So how did a rabbit distributing eggs become a part of Easter?
There are several reasons for the rabbit, or hare, to be associated with Easter, all of which come through pagan celebrations or beliefs. The most obvious is the hare’s fertility. Easter comes during spring and celebrates new life. The Christian meaning of new life through Christ and a general emphasis on new life are different, but the two gradually merged. Any animals – like the hare – that produced many offspring were easy to include.
The hare is also an ancient symbol for the moon. The date of Easter depends on the moon. This may have helped the hare to be absorbed into Easter celebrations.
The hare or rabbit’s burrow helped the animal’s adoption as part of Easter celebrations. Believers saw the rabbit coming out of its underground home as a symbol for Jesus coming out of the tomb. Perhaps this was another case of taking a pre-existing symbol and giving it a Christian meaning.
The Easter hare came to America with German immigrants, and the hare’s role passed to the common American rabbit. Originally children made nests for the rabbit in hats, bonnets, or fancy paper boxes, rather than the baskets of today. Once the children finished their nests, they put them in a secluded spot to keep from frightening the shy rabbit. The appealing nests full of colored eggs probably helped the customs to spread.
Back in Southern Germany, the first pastry and candy Easter bunnies became popular at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This custom also crossed the Atlantic, and children still eat candy rabbits – particularly chocolate ones – at Easter.
Origin and history of Easter Eggs
Next to the Easter bunny, the most familiar symbol is the Easter egg. Like others, the egg has a long pre-Christian history. Again there’s no certainty as to why it became associated with Easter.
Many Ancient cultures viewed eggs as a symbol of life. Hindus, Egyptians, Persians, and Phoenicians believed the world begun with an enormous egg. The Persians, Greeks, and Chinese gave gifts of eggs during spring festivals in celebration of new life all around them. Other sources say people ate dyed eggs at spring festivals in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In ancient Druid lore, the eggs of serpents were sacred and stood for life.
Early Christians looked at the connection eggs had to life and decided eggs could be a part of their celebration of Christ’s resurrection. In addition, in some areas, eggs were forbidden during Lent; therefore, they were a delicacy at Easter. Since many of the earlier customs were Eastern in origin, some speculate that early missionaries or knights of the Crusade may have been responsible for bringing the tradition to the West.
In the fourth century, people presented eggs in church to be blessed and sprinkled with holy water. By the twelfth century, the Benedictio Ovorum had been introduced authorizing the special use of eggs on the holy days of Easter. The timing of this blessing would uphold the idea that Crusaders may have brought the tradition back. Even though eggs had been used previously, the Crusaders may have made the custom more popular and widespread.
In 1290, Edward I of England recorded a purchase of 450 eggs to be colored or covered with gold leaf. He then gave the eggs to members of the royal household.
Once the custom became accepted, new traditions began to grow up around it. Eggs were dyed red for joy and in memory of Christ’s blood. Egg rolling contests came to America from England, possibly as a reminder of the stone being rolled away.
What about the familiar Easter Egg hunt? One source suggested that it grew out of the tradition of German children searching for hidden pretzels during the Easter season. Since children were hiding nests for the Easter Bunny to fill with eggs at the same time they were hunting pretzels, it was only a small leap to begin hiding eggs instead.
The Easter lily is another new addition to Easter celebrations. Throughout the years, painters and sculptors used the white Madonna lily to symbolize purity and innocence, frequently referring to Mary. This lily doesn’t force well, so nurseries couldn’t get the flower to bloom in time Easter.
In the 1880s, Mrs. Thomas Sargent brought Bermuda lily bulbs back to Philadelphia. A local nurseryman, William Harris, saw the lilies and introduced them to the trade. A more practical consideration was that they were easy to force into bloom in time for the Easter season. From there, they Bermuda lily, now the familiar Easter lily, spread throughout the country.
The Easter Lamb
Of all Easter symbols, the lamb is probably the most strongly Christian. Other than the fact that lambs are young animals born in springtime, it has no strong ties to pagan traditions.
The lamb comes from the Jewish Passover, where each family killed a lamb as a sacrifice. When Christ became the Passover Lamb for everyone, the lamb became a symbol for His sacrifice.
John 1:29 - "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
1 Peter 1:18-21 - "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."
Thanks to Ruth Armitage for giving me permission to use her lambs and sheep in this blog.
New Clothes at Easter
New clothes have long been associated with the idea of newness and a fresh beginning. The familiar custom of having new clothes for Easter probably began with early Christians wearing new white robes for baptism during Easter Vigil services. Later, the custom expanded to everyone wearing new clothes in celebration of his or her new life in Christ.
The familiar sunrise service is a relatively new addition to Easter. A group of young Moravian men in Hernhut, Saxony held the first recorded sunrise service in 1732. They went to their cemetery called God’s Acre at sunrise to worship in memory of the women who went to the tomb early on the first Easter morning and discovered it empty. Moravian immigrants brought the custom to America, with the first service in the United States held in 1743.
IDistance, our March Color of the Month, evokes the faded denim look of the 1970s. It’s a muted blue that balances light-tone wood finishes with ease, lending a vintage modern vibe. I have a very similar color to "Distance" in our Master bedroom and I find it very peaceful. The darker colors help your room be completely darkened so you get a better night's sleep. Most of my art looks good hanging on this color. You can never go wrong with one of the Gray's above either (which I have in my studio). Red dominated paintings stand out against the gray very nicely. Would you choose any of these colors for a room in your home?
Here’s to prosperity, success, good health and extending kindness to others in 2019.
• 2019 is the year of the pig beginning February 5th in the Chinese Zodiac. The Pig is also associated with the Earthly Branch and the hours 9–11 in the night. In terms of yin and yang, the Pig is yin. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well. Recent years of the Pig are: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019. I didn't know I was born in the Year of the Pig in 1947 so decided to check out if my personality and accomplishments might resemble the person I am today. You can check yours out as well on the website: https://chinesenewyear.net/zodiac
• I keep my hand in decorating trends from my past career and use the information about the most current paint colors in mind when selecting a painting for a client or in painting a commission piece for a client. Sherwin Williams’ color of the year is "Cavern Clay". You can go to their website and use their color tool to see if a specific color will look like in the room you are decorating. I used a similar color when I have painted wine cave paintings. I’m still partial to the grays they are featuring this year. Most viewed art benefits from this neutral.
It is more difficult to get my creative juices flowing when the world around us is in turmoil. An article by Alyson Stanfield, What’s The Point of Making Art When The World Is So Screwed Up? came to my email just in the knick of time. Her 8 points on why artists should keep painting lifted my spirits and my creativity. I'll be happy to share this article with you, just leave a comment that you would like a copy.
So, here's my process:
I spend hours looking through images and recreating a memory in my mind that went with that photo. I might need to do additional research before I even consider that image. I have to feel that excitement from that memory in order to start the process. It reminds me of the same choices when deciding what is for dinner -- some days I want to fix chicken and others fish.
The same process goes for deciding on a theme to paint for several months. Once I have identified at least 3-5 possible subjects from photos, I use my projector to enlarge the image to see what size looks the best and whether it is going to be a vertical or horizontal or square painting. I need to decide what it is that attracted me to that image while thinking about design and composition. Does it measure up to the standard or will I be able to carry off a "breaking of the rules?" Yes there are rules and they are there as guidelines but most successful artists have used them in their paintings.
Secondly I decide if this painting is best painted on which surface: watercolor paper (cold press or hot press}, on a clay surface or Yupo. If I choose the latter, on a cradle so no framing or matting will be required or 1/8" to put in a frame.
Now I do a value study using the App on my Iphone, NotanIzer, and usually use 4 values. Once I have the values fine tuned , I can transfer the image from my projector to the surface I will be painting on (enough to get the prospective and important details in pencil). I can choose my colors now. I really love that the midtones have been selected through this process so I can concentrate on the lightest and darkest tones.
Now the fun of painting can begin. Sometimes the painting can be completed that same day. When it is more complicated, I want to be more deliberate and take it in stages over several days. Often I paint on more than one painting at a time if there are similar treatments to do at the same time.
Hope that helps when you see a painting. You can still ask me how long it took me but you'll have to hear about the steps...........
One of the things that keeps my interest high in painting a series is to start more than one painting. In my last post you saw the first one I started. It actually only has two washes on it at this point.
There were two doors in particular that I wanted to add "gesso juice" to the whiter stones around the door and so I started in on them next. I finished the one below first. I had to do some research on how to create the beaded glass and am pleased with the result but it took several stages to create it. I need to write down my notes before I forget. I will have to look at it for several more days before deciding if it is finished.
II'm editing my post to include the 2nd door which I finished today. It is in Saint Emilion and had quite an ornate insert in the door panel. I ended up putting down several layers of green and teal trying to get the right look for the different colors of green on the door due to age and oxidation.
Your input is always welcome.
Have you visited France and seen some magnificent doors as well? I would love to see your door photos.....
Sharing my paintings with others is one of the joys in my life. Educating others about how I paint and the media I use is very important and why I wanted to reach out through this blog. Hope you will add a comment about what you see. What else would you like to see here?.
www.dianagnadal.blogspot.com Link to Previous year blogs: