Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “Plein Aire”

Beau’s Fulfilling Day


Miss Sugar, Art Advocate, invited several artists to our ranch for a Plein Aire event, which is French for painting outside, a term I just learned and am sharing with those of you who, like me, were kicked out of French class in 7th grade.  Anyway, the artists are painting ranch scenes and Sugar provided lunch and drinks.  Beau provided a fun challenge: try to keep brushes away from him.  Eventually, out of mercy for the artists, we chained him up to protect them.  The long chain almost reached the canopy over the tables where lunch was served, so he went there, and some kind folks gave him some scraps, so he was glad to be within reach of the buffet.

Later in the day, Michelle, who has been living in Nepal for more than a year, arrived at the ranch with her friend, Holly.  They have been friends since high school.  They both played on the basketball team.  One would think that athletes would have quick reflexes, and maybe they do, but not so quick as to be a challenge for Beau, as proven  the next morning when Michelle’s mother made breakfast for, presumably, Michelle, Holly, herself and me.  As it turned out, she also made breakfast for Beau, but not for me.  I heard Michelle request of Beau, “Get out of here.”  Nevertheless, before he complied, he reached up on the counter and grabbed a bite.  Michelle reminded us that Beau is ill-mannered.  She is an Ivy League graduate and knows rudeness when she sees rudeness.  Apparently, it is rude to allow one’s dog to eat one’s breakfast off one’s kitchen counter.  Who knew?

That is not all.  The artists returned for Day Two.  One of them, a woman who claims to be educated with a Masters in Fine Arts, stopped at McDonalds for a “to go” lunch.  She foolishly opened the door of her vehicle without taking proper security measures.  Beau grabbed the McDonalds bag.  The “to go” lunch “went” — with him, briefly.  When Sugar retrieved it from the retriever, only a few french fries could be salvaged.

I know what you are thinking.  You are asking, “Why do they put up with such a thieving creature?”

I don’t rightly know.  I guess he grows on ya.  Plus, all these victims were warned in advance.

Beauty of the Beast

Sugar, my trophy wife, a former model for many years, has gotten me into the modeling business again.  I say “again” because as most Americans of a certain age recall, I once appeared in a print ad in The Omaha World Herald advertising the teen department at Nebraska Clothing.  After all the acclaim that brought me, I cut back on modeling and concentrated on other endeavors, until last Friday that is.

Last Friday, Sugar reserved an area of Old Town Fort Collins for a Plein Aire event, which I recently learned means something in French about painting as a group outdoors.  The participating artists picked different subjects to paint on the spot in about a two hour period.  Some painted store fronts of area businesses within view, or of people sitting at tables in the park area.  One artist said he was having trouble choosing a subject and asked me what I had planned for the next couple hours.  He is a Western artist so he is partial to cowboys rather than storefronts and fountains and such sissy city stuff.

Here is the result.  It would make the Mona Lisa smile.  No brag, just fact.


The artist, Jim Whartman, gave the original to Sugar, but for those of you who want a print, I will try to get you a WordPress discount.  But I ain’t making no promises.

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