|"Study of flowers in a blue vase" by Hilary J. England, 12" x 18" oil on canvas panel, 2014|
After, Arpasu, we spent Fourth of July here at our "Orphanage" trying to work on things for our upcoming show, after a night of very fun and very festive karaoke at a local Romanian bar. 'Nuff said about that!!! Ilie has been very kind, and has taken me on a few excursions to most beautiful, out-of-the way areas that tourists would not go to or know much about, and these areas have been breathtaking. He even showed me his usual fishing spot, which after we fished there with some other locals, he left in defeat...having only caught a minnow ("Moby Dick!") and an old hat. He laughed that it was better than last year, when he caught a TV set! He has become a friend, and so, with his birthday (today) I had promised to paint a portrait of him.
We started out earlier this morning, and he brought me to a most amazing mountain top after going through a series of lovely villages. It was so nice to ride through these areas, windows down, music playing, wind in your face....like a safari! When we got to the top, the wind was pretty fierce, and I asked him, "Do you really want me to paint you up HERE?" He laughed and said no, just wanted me to see it, knowing I would appreciate it. That was the truth, as it was incredibly beautiful...the vistas and air and wildflowers. Just amazing.
So, we headed to a park very close to my apartment, and that's where I FINALLY started the painting, LOL. But, being a guy, he couldn't stop moving around, answering his phone, telling jokes, and (this is the best) nearly falling over backwards in his chair since the earth was soft...gotta love it. That last turn of events made me bust out laughing, and I realized we needed to just call it a day...the heat was brutal, and after all, it is the poor guy's birthday. He needs to go out and party with his friends...it is the obligation of anyone who reaches a milestone birthday (the big 4-0). So, we decided we will meet up with a few others as a small group tomorrow, and continue then.
So, until then, I will leave you with this painting of flowers I did yesterday in class.... boy, this painting nearly drove me bananas...and I hated it, but when I put it away, I haven't seen it since! Maybe it found a home? Who knows....if so, I'm good with that as well.
So, I am back in my apartment, just enjoying this cool shade with a slight breeze.