Saturday, July 2, 2011

Colors of the Tour de France, Stage 1

The Tour de France is back!

For me, the month of July is all about the Tour. That means watching the coverage on Versus each evening, and then breaking out the watercolors to continue what has become an annual tradition on this blog ... a Tour project! Because after seeing something so monumental and beautiful every night, you just have to do something.

And this year, my project is all about color.

Sometimes abstract, sometimes more literal, and sometimes a little of both, I hope to capture a bit of the real -- and even imagined -- colors of each stage. Connecting each painting: "Etape", the wonderful French word for "Stage".

This year, the Tour literally seemed to rise from the sea, as the riders crossed the Passage du Gois -- a road that twice-a-day is completely submerged by high tides, connecting the Beauvoir-sur-Mer to the Vendee region of France. We didn't see much of that crossing on T.V., since it happened very early in the race. But it was that long mysterious road that still formed the mythology of this stage.

And so today, even with all the drama of crashes and sprints that shook up the General Classification ... it was the peloton's crossing of the sea that was foremost in my mind. The blues of water and sky, browns of the seabed, the greens of the Vendee countryside, a hint of red for all those red-roofed towns, and one long, dark road illuminated by the peloton ... those are the colors that stood out in my mind in Stage 1.

As an aside, June was a very eventful month for me, which I'll be reporting on within the next couple weeks. I just finished the two-day, 150 mile Boston-to-Provincetown MS Ride -- an incredible experience. So stayed tuned for details!

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