Vinita, Oklahoma gave me the biggest challenge yet. The main street is a wide boulevard typical of Western cities. Early Saturday morning it was just me setting up my easel by the curb and the guy hosing down my main subject...this sparkling brick 5 story monolith. It wasn't long until trucks were rumbling past regularly. Their trailers carried hay, grain, poultry, cattle, hogs, goats, horses and equipment. I was aware of the smells and sounds as they breezed by and now I know that goats do not go quietly like the other cargo. Two hours of that and It was becoming hard to concentrate so I pulled up stakes and hit the road myself, less than delighted with my choice of subject and it's execution. I knew I had most of a painting and it could be tinkered with back in the quiet of studio. The paper held the essence of morning light, at least. That is why we love plein air painting...it's authenticity and freshness.
Vinita is a rodeo town on the professional circuit; once a year there is a four day event at the rodeo grounds right across the street from my hotel, but not the weekend I was there. Too bad. I'd like to paint a cowboy portrait. I suppose some of the ropers and riders leave Vinita feeling a little defeated, too. At least I wasn't sore and broken.