I must confess, I have spent precious little time in Iowa. I loved driving here Sunday. Farm after rolling farm and corn fields forever. Also, Iowa shared wind farms with its northern neighbor, Minnesota. I have never before seen this natural power source on a large scale. White wands whirling, one after another after another, like some kind of giant crop. Like ballet dancers: strong, straight, graceful... moving in slow, deliberate circles. They were beautiful! And seeing them gave me hope. Some of us ARE thinking of the future, thinking of the generations beyond our own. I felt proud and just a bit teary-eyed.
I thought I might want to paint a wind farm but yesterday I headed southeast out of Waterloo, into more endless cornfields. After obtaining my required amount of coffee, I pulled into a roadside park off of Highway 30, a two-lane heading towards the Mississippi River. I set up in the shade and sketched a distant farm, thistles in the foreground. Iowa hugged me. The temperature was perfect for jeans and a polar fleece. The smells were sweet. The bugs chorused but did not buzz my head. This was a quiet corner in which to concentrate without stress... much different than being on display in a national park, much less exhausting.
Several cars pulled in, some stayed, but no one came to see what I was doing. Allen roared up on his motorcycle. It was great to have him check in during his touring. One man who worked for the DOT stopped to see what I was up to. But most of the afternoon I was alone and that felt great. I like my farm landscape. Ten years ago I painted many a farm in pastel. It was nice to be back to a familiar subject.
Today I head home. I am anxious to love up my dog. I look forward to laying out my paintings to see what stages they are in and if they have the potential I think they do. I want to catch up with friends and family. But I am a bit sad to be at the end so soon. This has been a fabulous working vacation. I really hit a rhythm: painting and driving, touring and eating... And it has been really nice to share this with Allen. I wasn't sure I could work and play but it seems they are completely compatible. Boo-ha!