|The scene captured in the painting|
In the last entry, I talked about my harrowing painting experience at Chaco Canyon two years ago. Here is another such story. The tranquil scene above is the C & O Canal at Fletcher's Boathouse. In the fall of 2009, I started taking Sara Linda Poly's plein-air painting class. I was absolutely enthralled with the idea of painting outside, but my skill level didn't quite match my enthusiasm as you can see in the original state of "Autumn Walk along the C & O Canal." But there was another reason for my lackluster performance.
Having covered some popular sites in Alexandria, VA, Sara decided to take us across the Potomac River. Unless you commute to Washington, DC or Maryland by car, many northern Virginians do not venture out in that direction and some of us get panic-stricken if we have to drive there. It's like a foreign country to us. I had never been to the historic Fletcher's Boathouse. After crossing the river by Chain Bridge, I managed to take a wrong turn and ended up near Georgetown University. That's when I got a flat tire! I was rescued by a kind AAA guy, but by that time it was almost noon. I seriously considered going home.
Not being someone who gives up easily, I changed my mind and eventually found my way to the spot, where Sara's class had been painting for two hours. Did I say that it was one of those glorious autumn days we often get in the Washington metropolitan area? There wasn't a breeze to disturb the reflections in the water. I was glad to join the class. But I was tired from my adventure; besides, I only had a couple of hours left to whip out a painting.
The painting had been hanging in my garage ever since that eventful day. Yes, in my garage! As you know, I have been reworking old paintings for the past few weeks and I am now near the bottom of the pile. So I took the painting out of the frame, printed out the photo, and went to town. I am rather pleased with the new and improved painting.
I don't know what the moral of the story is. You really need a AAA membership? Bad things do not always happen in threes? The C & O Canal is a fabulous place to paint? Never give up, never surrender?