One of Those Days

“Villa Tournasol”
watercolor on Arches 15″ x 22″
This day was a “day off.” We had been touring The Perigord Region pretty hard for seven days straight. We needed to rest and relax. . . .So, I took a ‘busmans holiday’ . . . .I snuck away and painted. I did so with the complete support of everyone. I had packed up my backpack and walked a half mile up hill and set up on the corner of this sea of sunflowers that stretched into many, many acres. What a sight! What a perfect spot. No one to bother me. The birds chirping. The sun playing tag with the slightly overcast cloud cover. It was perfect . . . . . . . .except after I had put this whole rig of easel, umbrella etc up in the slight breeze, I discoverd I had left my water at home!!! NO WATER for painting? Now what?
I had a small bottle of water for drinking . . .and it was a warm day . . .I would need it. Or, could I get away with using it? . . .. . . .Rather than fold up the works . . .or worse, leave it sit while I hike back to the house . . . . . .and risk being side tracked by wife or the group requests, I dug in and used teensy bits of water at a time. Someone eventually happened by and I sent them to my wife to send a messenger with more water. It worked.
It ALL worked that day. I love the way the painting came out too.

“One of Those Days”
Photo by Diana Bailey

11 thoughts on “One of Those Days”

  1. Great painting, Mike. I like the blues in the foreground shadows. I am starting a trip in a couple of weeks, and plan on taking watercolor equipment, rather than oils. I am a watercolor novice, so please be nice!

  2. Mike, this is gorgeous! How interesting that you chose to paint the back of the sunflowers.
    I like the subtlety of the underbrush in the foreground. You are so good with watercolors!
    Fun to see a shot of you at the easel.

  3. Nice? Ed! I wouldn’t dream of being nice!! 😉 Thanks for the comments . . . .I am sure finding that plein air oil is a heck of a lot easier than watercolor. With the latter, you gotta plan, plan plan!

  4. Thanks, Silvi. Those flowers ALL face in one direction. After looking at them at all sides, I found them much more interesting when they were facing away.

    I look a little ‘tubby’ in this shot . . . .musta been the cheeeeeze! 😉

  5. OMG…did you bring back any sunflowers for me to paint!

    Have you ever seen Lust for Life with Kirk Douglas. He plays Van Gogh and he is painting in a field just like this. He is really struggling with all the sunflowers and the crows are cackling which to him sounds like laughter. He ends up smashing his easel and canvas and tearing up sunflowers by the root. Takes them back and paints his famous sunflower paintings.

  6. Mike, “tubby”?! You don’t look the least bit tubby. I’d be more worried about how I look in that funny little hat! ; D

    Elio, I saw that movie years ago. It was great. Lust for Life… I’m going to see if Netflix has it.

  7. Yup! Maybe Warner Bros would be interested in a remake in which I could star . . .with my funny li’l hat!


    BTW . . .when does this jet lag stuff end? I am tired of waking up at 3:30 AM !

  8. Hey Mike,
    I just checked out your blog and your traveling/painting adventures…I’m sorry to see you’re having such a terrible summer..(insert sarcastic tone here). That watercolor looks like a winner too, good for you. Where did you get your easel/umbrella set up, it looks much sturdier than the one I chased out of the pond a week ago.

    All my best to you,

  9. Ha! I wish you could have witnessed me chasing this ‘sturdy’ set up after the breeze caught it! Or maybe you would have liked to have seen me grab it and fall over backward while attempting to deprive the wind from taking too many privileges!

    The set up is mostly from Sun-Eden. They have a web site. I love their unbrella arm.

    The stool is an unstable stinker. I have the marks to proove it!!


  10. Hey Mike! Very nice watercolor. Love the receding sunflowers, forground is great.

    Watercolor is a challenge in plein air no doubt. I find myself walking back and forth to the car alot more than when I do oils. Radiator water works sometimes in a pinch.

  11. Mike,

    Beautiful painting! Glad you went back to watercolors… I was beginning to think that you were a 100% convert to oils…


Join in and comment!