Disclaimer, my strengths lie in painting not writing so please excuse my many grammatical and spelling errors.
As much as I try to space out the plein air festivals that I paint in, they always seem to get clumped together forming a whirlwind tour of the Eastern US. There's not much of a way around it when you teach full time 10 months of the year.
After Ellicott City, MD and Castine, ME I got to go home to restock my supplies before heading north to the Adirondacks for a 2 week camping trip with the family and two more paint outs. In the middle of the trip I drove the 2 hours north to Morristown for the festival there with Cora. I think I've done this one all 4 years, and I've had the same wonderful hosts for the past 3 years. They have a beautiful place on the St. Lawrence looking out at sunsets over the Canadian churches. We had a challenging new Quick Draw this year looking out at the town. Although architecture is not my forte I did win 2nd place for a portrait of a little gothic style house. At the final show I also came in 3rd overall and I sold two of my three paintings.
I returned to the Adirondacks to finish our camping trip and eventually sent the whole family home, except Samantha (age 16). We stayed for an extra week to paint in the Adirondack Plein Air festival. We had new a new host this year with a stunning camp on Upper Saranac Lake. I struggled a bit here this year trying to get paintings done in a timely manor but I did sell 5 of my 6 paintings. Samantha did some great work on little nature studies in acrylics.
Samantha and I drove the 5hours home after the show late on a Saturday evening only turn around at 6am the next morning to head West for the eclipse. Ben said the only thing he wanted for his birthday was to see the eclipse in it's totality. The longest point of totality was in Carbondale, Illinois, so that's where we went. It took about 15 - 16 hours of drive time to get there, but it was well worth it. The dramatic change in the light causing a 360 degree sunset for a few minutes was amazing.
On the way home we stopped in Indiana for some fossil hunting to break up the drive. The next day we found a ridge of flint in Ohio that the Native Americans used to mine stone for tools. We collected about 26 pounds of the flint and I can't wait to cut and cab some of it.
Although a schedule like this is exhausting, it's well worth it and we enjoy all the little adventures that come with traveling and painting outdoors over the summer.