The Cycling Painter Anita Hampton

Why the Cycling Painter?

Approximately two months ago, I asked myself, “What am I going to do now”? Ten years ago, my life took a dramatic shift, and now I am thinking of making yet another shift. Am I crazy? I want to gear my life up at a time when most people start thinking about shifting down.

My passion has always been painting. I spent most of my professional career traveling painting and teaching workshops at some of the most beautiful places in the World, including Europe. I have painted portraits, still-life, city scenes, landscapes, seascapes; you name it. And here I’ve been all this time, sitting at the doorstep of one of the most beautiful California shorelines.

I have decided it is time for me to paint and study seascapes from my own back yard. Montana de Oro is a State Park located near me. The Park has over a 2-1/2 mile trail that runs along gentle sloping bluffs standing approximately 100 feet up from the water’s edge. I must say, hauling a 50lb backpack full of painting gear all that way to and from a painting site is a little much for me these days.

It is time for my creativity and imagination to go to work. I needed to find an alternate form of transport. I visited Wally’s Bike Works in town and told them what I wanted to do. They set me up with a dirt bike with good shocks, a pair of saddlebags for my paints and brushes, a custom-made rack to fit my easel, an emergency and security bag weighing nearly as much as my painting supplies, and a bike with LOTS of gears. Mind you; I haven’t ridden a bike in years, or dare I say decades. In my day, a bicycle consisted of a frame, one seat, two handlebars, two wheels with spokes, and perhaps a small wire basket measuring around 8x10x12 inches. There is a LOT to learn and organize besides painting, but I figure, whatever happens with this, it will be a good form of exercise.

I anxiously want to begin my new painting adventures this week between days of predicted rains and after two long months of preparation. I hope to blog my experiences as a form of documentation and will share with you as much as I dare. So, wish me luck in finding 1st gear as a cycling painter!

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