Painting and Cycle Touring
‘A picture paints a thousand words.’
Not sure who said these immortal words but what better way to start my posts on cycle touring media equipment than with the second most old school of them all. After a pen and paper a tin of paints and a sketch pad has been the choice of explores and adventures for centuries. In today’s modern world when video and photos can be snapped in an instance it may seem there is no room for brushes, paints and pads in a cyclists panniers but in my experience this form or recording a journey is second to none.
Watercolor paints are light weight, durable and cheap and by sitting down and recording a view you not only rest mind and body but also really look at a subject providing you with an insight a camera can never provide. You don’t have to paint a masterpiece, what you create is for your eyes alone, but by traveling with pad and paint you are joining a rich heritage of artistic nomads of which the Victorians were king.
In the early 19th century more and more artists took advantage of the opportunities for foreign travel, exploring new subjects in the landscape and cultures of other countries.
Advances in travel technology meant artists could travel the world and paint, and with photography still in its infancy, many of the artistic interpretations that returned provided audiences back home with their only views of foreign lands. But as well as providing the public with exotic glimpses into another world these artists also provided scientists with visual examples of undiscovered plants, birds and other natural examples. Charles M. Russell’s dramatic paintings of the Midwest of America are some of my favorites as well as Edward Lear’s interpretations of the Middle East.
In todays modern world when video and photos can be snapped in an instance it may seem there is no room for brushes, paints and pads in a cyclists panniers but in my experience they more than make up for their space onboard.
I’m not claiming to be even close to Lear and Russell, but at the end of a long day in the saddle there is nothing more calming and restful than sitting down and having a little doodle. You will also never be short of thank you presents for people who put you up and the picture you keep will provide you with a lifetime of memories.