Alone in a field of poppies

Seems like the holidays always throw me for a loop.  It’s such a social time of the year and I get wiped out by all the parties and visits and, well, people.  I like people, just spaced out and in smaller doses.  I’m pretty good at the small talk, it’s not like I’m in the corner with a wild eyed stare, but after a few months of seemingly endless events, I need a break. The American holiday season seems like full bore, pedal to the metal intensity.  I like to move at a much slower pace and sometimes find myself white knuckling this time of year.  Classic introvert, that’s me.

I finally got a chance to get into the studio and took the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane.  I was hunting through my snapshots for something to paint and came across a wonderful photo.  I took it last year on the fourth of July.

Since my son was small, on every Independance Day, we would drive to a local field to watch the annual fireworks display.  In the beginning, it was just the 3 of us, in the bed of our pick up truck.  We’d arrive early and eat a picnic dinner while waiting for the summer sun to set and the show to begin.

A few years back, we invited some friends to join us and it turned into an event.   We all park in a row, set out a pot -luck picnic, lawn chairs, a cooler or two of beer and it’s an instant party.   The kids set off store bought fireworks on the road while we laugh, eat and have small town good time on the edge of the farmer’s field.

The field in question has been, in turns, planted with mint, grass and last year, of all things, poppies.  It was stunningly beautiful and really added a new dimension to our annual 4th of July lawn party.  I took this picture of my friend’s daughter, just before the sun began to set.  It’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

Here’s the sketch:

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Laying in some color:

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And the final:

Alone in field of poppies

Alone in field of poppies