Artist on a Harley:

In My Own Backyard

” Our Backyard” Original Oil painting by Mike Simpson.

[Western Colorado | June 2020 | By Mike Simpson]

As many of you know, I do like to get out and about from time to time. It’s usually not as much as I’d like but probably more than I should. One does need to stay home and tend to things on occasion. Being a responsible adult does have its drawbacks.

Many artist’s like to travel and paint the subjects of far away lands. It’s in our blood. It’s an inherent trait. Artist’s love to travel and paint. I’m no exception. Painting and travel go hand in hand. In fact I have a motto that reads…Travel. Paint. Experience.

The current confines placed on society has sure put a cramp in that ability. However, there have been some great opportunities arise from this adjustment to our normal. An artist looking for subject matter to paint really only needs to look at his or her surroundings. Take your backyard for example. Whether you’re an artist or not, I know there is something of interest for you right there under your nose…and further more…it’s been there all along. It has just taken an unusual set of circumstances for us to actually have the time to look around and see what we have.

Don’t have a backyard? Take a look from the view of your apartment or condo. I know you can find something of interest among those alleys and power poles and wires. Use your imagination. An advantage we artists have is the ability to “see”. Often, we can look at some mundane subject or view before us and “see” something worth painting, if not only to make it look a little better. Perhaps only to see the potential laying therein and then make something of it.

“My Backyard.” Original oil painting by Mike Simpson.

The current 10 mile restriction we are under at this time, still offers vast opportunities for subject matter to paint…especially in our neck of the woods. 10 miles out of Montrose in any direction offers unlimited subject matter. If fact if I never ventured farther than 10 miles from home, I wouldn’t live long enough to paint everything there is to paint.
Hmmm…there’s an idea for a new series maybe. 10 paintings within 10 miles of my hometown.

Hey now. That’s my idea. Don’t steal it.

This 10 mile limitations does hamper my getting on the Harley and going for a ride. 10 miles is just a spin around the block. What better way to social distance though than on the big two
wheeler listening to Bob Seger. Unfortunately, when I do fire it up just to go into town for an errand, the temptation to keep going is pretty hard to resist. I’d really like to be irresponsible enough to just keep on going to see where I wind up for the night. Might find something interesting to paint too…but then that’s how this Artist on a Harley thing got started.

I think I’ll look for an app or something that will circle a 10 mile radius from my phone and just see what all is included. Then I’ll load a painting kit onto the bike and head out to see what I can see. I’m sure I’ll find something. Can’t help it.

I’m kind of excited to see what the new normal is going to be. Maybe I should say the new
abnormal because it’s not going back to what we used to know…and maybe that’s a good thing.I’ll see you out there somewhere. Look for me and I’ll look for you. We’ll wave across the distance.