Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Home Stretch

Just a couple more weeks until we meet Baby Boy... and I am trying to work like crazy, while showing myself grace and patience. The weather here in Denver has been in the 90's for most of June and July, and it is slowing me down; it's like being in one of those bad dreams where you are trying to run but your legs are stuck in sludge.

That being said, my body has required a lot more sleep during this pregnancy than it did with my first; perhaps it's because I have a very chatty four year old whose incessant talking--though adorable--wears me out. Or perhaps it's because I'm still doing Crossfit several days a week. Or... maybe it's because I said I would "slow down" in June and July, and that's not actually what happened. In fact, June was an incredibly busy month. Just a few days after my Lincoln portrait was unveiled (see previous post), I headed up to Steamboat Springs for a week to participate in the Oil Painters of America National Convention and Wet Paint competition. My husband and daughter joined up with me a few days into the trip, to enjoy a mini family vacation together, and it was a wonderful week of art, community, and family time.

Above and below: a couple of my paintings from the week (8x10 and 8x8). It was absolutely delightful to paint for three days straight with zero interruptions! :-)

With my painting "Winter Gaze" at the opening reception for the OPA National Exhibition, hosted by the Steamboat Art Museum.

Some family fun playing putt-putt in Steamboat (Cece's first time!).

Visiting Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs, CO

A week later, Steve and I went to visit some dear artist friends in Pennsylvania. It was another wonderful art-centered weekend, and I came back very much inspired by the gorgeous rural setting, and all the great conversations we'd shared about painting and life.

Great friends, art, and conversation. Oh, and those rhododendrons!!

Above and below: a couple small studies I did while in Pennsylvania (12x12 and 6x6). I plan on doing a larger version of the floral piece.

(Let me just say... I am thankful for grandparents who were willing to fly in and babysit/house-sit while Steve and I were traveling! Cece enjoyed her time with them as well... she was actually upset when Steve and I came home because she knew it meant having to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa!)

Two days after our return from PA, we left for a 5-day trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, Canada. This was my "last hurrah" before baby... We decided to splurge and make it both a baby moon, AND a celebration of ten years of marriage (has it really been TEN??!). Wow!

I do want to give a shout-out to my life partner of now 10 years. Steve has always been my biggest supporter. He is my favorite adventure partner. When we travel together, we just sync perfectly. Even though we are complete opposites in more ways than one, we challenge each other to try new things and experience life from different perspectives. Ten years may seem long to some, a piece of cake to others, but for us I can say it is a huge accomplishment. It shows that our vows really mean something. By God’s grace, two stubborn, independently minded people somehow survived the major transitions of their 20s together, discovered the joys and struggles parenthood, and now prepare to become parents for a second time. I am thankful for what marriage has taught me and look forward to learning and growing together in love and maturity for many years to come...

Okay, that's enough sap for one post. Here are some pictures from the trip.

Painted somewhere in Jasper National Park. 8x10.

There were lots of spectators and gawkers invading my space while I worked at the popular Moraine Lake, but this little girl was the sweetest. :-)

This part of the world is unbelievably beautiful!

My 12x6" plein air sketch of Mount Tonsa at Moraine Lake. One of the "Valley of the Ten Peaks." 

Proud to have done a fairly challenging hike at 32 weeks pregnant! This was up to the Lake Agnes Tea House, a 4.5 mile round trip hike with a 1300-ft elevation gain. I overheard another couple say as we passed them: “If the pregnant lady can do it, we sure as heck can too!”

"Sunrise at Lake Louise," 10x8" -- Painted from our hotel room at the Fairmont Chateau, over the course of two mornings. There was only about a 20-minute window of time each day where the light looked like this, so I had to work quickly (and get up EARLY!). Totally worth it.

I woke up even earlier on the last morning of our trip to get some epic maternity photos in front of Lake Louise at sunrise. It was only about 40 degrees outside, but I really love how the photos turned out. :-)

Canada graced us with a fabulous parting gift. A mama bear and her two cubs had been hanging out by the hotel for the past week eating dandelions, and Park staff carefully roped off their area to make sure some stupid tourists didn’t try to approach the wildlife. Tuesday morning though, the area was no longer blocked off, as it appeared the family of bears had moved on. We found them... eating dandelions just a mile or two down the road! I got this shot from the safety of our car. It will most likely be (let’s hope!) the closest I ever get to grizzly bears in the wild.

One last shot by Castle Mountain before departing for the airport. Thankful for the sweet memories we made on this trip!

Since the travels are all over, July has felt like a really long month, but I'm trying to make the most of it. I'm enjoying these last few precious weeks with Cecelia as an only child. I've hired models and started a brand new body of work that I'm really excited about. It's good to know that while this new baby is napping, I'll still be able to sneak into the studio and get some painting in.

By the way, all the recent small works are available for sale, so please email me (annarosebain@gmail.com) if you are interested. I'm also planning to do some larger paintings from the studies and hundreds of photo references we took while exploring these beautiful places. More to come!

1 comment:

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