‘Hold On Loosely’ – Oil – 30 x 30 inch

I wanted to paint this couple riding down the road for quite some time but could not find the right background. I secretly have a nickname for the painting (her), feel free to guess. I started painting it on a smaller canvas but that didn’t feel right, so that canvas became another painting.

Then in 2016 I rode back by myself from Sturgis, South Dakota to Grand Junction, Colorado. The Rockies are infamous for their sudden and fierce thunderstorms. I had kept a close eye on the weather channel and knew that I had to try to dodge several
storms that day. And here I was, in the middle of Wyoming, 180 miles from anything, nowhere to stop or shelter and I see five thunderstorms developing around me.

Ok. Start with dodging number 1. Check. Number 2. Got a little wet, all good. Number 3, got a nice skin and teeth polishing sandblast but dodged the rain, tick in box. Now onto 4 and 5. Mile after mile the clouds got darker and darker, resembling giant black cotton balls and the pile got bigger and bigger ahead and on the right of me. Number 3 stayed with me on my left, getting bigger and darker too but didn’t appear to contain imminent thunder and lightning so I ignored it. I could not see where the road was going but it seemed to be going straight ahead into the blackest cotton balls that could start throwing lightning bolts at any time now.

All of a sudden there was a huge dip in the road and the road made a 90 degree curve to the left through the rock formations.  Relief flooded me. I hauled ass the whole time and made it. Thunder and lightning splitting the dark sky behind me.

I arrived at the nearest petrol station with a nearly empty gas tank and instantly the rain came bucketing down like the end of the world was near.  “Hah! Got ya!” I smirked. As I had been staring at this scenery for a good two hours it felt like the absolutely perfect background for this painting once I arrived back into my warm, dry and safe studio.