I spent the weekend in Austin. I love that city! It is clean, young and full of arty-hippie types. I think we ate Tex-Mex 3 out of 4 meals: hot, freshly toasted tortillas with fried avocado or eggs, cheese and peppers. There was lots of food served in "parks" out of trailers, sort of like at a carnival but made with fresh and unique ingediants and not necessarily deep-fried. Last night we went to "Django Unchained", a must-see, in a theater that served dinner and drinks while you watched the movie. What a simple luxury; we need these establishments in Michigan!
On Sunday Peter and I drove to Hamilton Pool, a natural basin sunk into an amphitheater of rock, 20 miles west of Austin. He was my Sherpa, carrying the heavy painting supplies into the canyon. He good-naturedly agreed to paint a watercolor landscape while I worked in oils. (I feel success as a mom in that not only do both children like The Beatles but both asked for art supplies for Christmas.) It was a hard view to capture, the rock rising far above and wrapping around us. We did as best we could and were both relieved to pack it up two hours later. I produced a 9x12 that I think I like. I'm not sure how it will translate to a final 24x30 but that is clearly a problem for another day.
Today I drove 8 hours northeast through rural Texas into Louisiana. The trip went quickly because I was listening to "Sweet Tooth" by Ian McEwan. I LOVE the story so far; the characters are interesting, the description is rich and the plot is compelling. Tomorrow I will look for a landscape to paint in this state, possibly overlooking the Mississippi River.