Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Reach

Philip Koch, The Reach, oil on panel, 24 x 36", 2010

There's a half-sensed image that starts calling to you before you begin a new painting. It comes part from one's immediate experience and part from long buried memories that for reasons of their own have begun to stir again.

Years ago during one of my stays at Edward Hopper's studio in Truro, MA, I walked south along his beach on Cape Cod Bay. There was an amazingly beautiful rhythm to the tops of the sand dunes and I wanted to see them close up. As I walked further I was startled to come across a seal that just died and now lay high up the beach where the high tide had deposited her. I say just died because she seemed perfectly intact, really more like she was sleeping than permanently still. What struck me was how beautiful she was, with a rich coat of multicolored fur and the most delicate eyelashes and whiskers.

Though it was a brilliantly sunny afternoon, the stillness of the seal and the quiet of a deserted beach in early October turned the tone of shore in a more somber direction. I found myself thinking of times I'd spent long ago on another shore. My dad used to like to take me sailing at night. As a boy it always frightened me just a little, but he seemed to know what he was doing and I took comfort in that. It was dark and mysterious. He said little so usually it was very very quiet. Just us and the wind. Thinking of all this that afternoon on Cape Cod, I knew all this would be coming together to make a major painting somewhere down the line.

This oil The Reach is an imagined painting. The title is a nautical term that means one's sails are trimmed to catch a wind that comes at you from the side of the boat rather than when you're striving to sail more closely into the wind. It's a course that's easy and fast. Every sailor probably likes the reach best of all.

I did a vine charcoal drawing of those dunes I was telling you about on the same walk when I met the seal. Over the last few months I'd been working on a medium sized oil based on that drawing . Somehow the frieze like row of dunes that worked so well on a small scale didn't provide enough surprise when expanded to 36" wide. I changed the color of the sky and the sand several dozen times but the rhythm of the shapes stayed stubbornly mechanical in feeling.

Reaching back into my childhood memories, I combined that with the times I'd gone sailing at night on Lake Ontario outside Rochester where I grew up. I figured the boats mast and sails could inject an abrupt break to the overly predictable row of dunes. I could see immediately adding the boat was the right way to go.

Often times when you change one thing, it sends a ripple through everything else. With the boat as a new focal point, the dunes seemed too tall, so I sliced out large sections of dune tops with a lowered sky. Gradually it grew to become more about the movement of the boat reaching out to sea under a larger, brooding night sky. It's a painting that at least for me reaches from today in my studio, to a few years ago on a beach on Cape Cod, to five decades ago on a very small boat on a large dark sea.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Going to the Fairy Ball

This is a photo my daughter Susan just took on her phone of her daughter Nora getting her costume ready to go to a "Fairy Ball" themed party with her little friends. Nora is totally into this Cinderella type fantasy of silks, ribbons, shiny stars and magic wands. She's just turned four and there's been a remarkable transformation. She's suddenly infatuated with the romance of these new "girlie" sorts of themes. Figurines, stickers, castles... the works. She's having a ball.

In a lot of ways, artists are really four year olds. We love nothing better than plunging into our private reveries and fantasies to see if they can be mined to make art. When I was exactly my grand daughter Nora's age, my family moved to a then remote forested hillside on the shore of Lake Ontario in New York State. To my young eyes, it seemed like we'd gone to live in some as yet undiscovered new world. It felt to me totally untamed and wild. At night I'd hear animal noises coming from the darkened trees and know there were more than ordinary creatures out there. This was more of a magic realm than an new neighborhood.

Now the trick is to honor the fact that I'm an adult. I've picked up a mountain of skills in my journey from being four to now. But I think for artists, one special skill has to be remaining in the thrall of your deepest enthusiasms. Like the ones that so captivated you when you were four.

Philip Koch, Mountain Forest, vine charcoal, 7 x 14", 2009

When I started going to Maine to paint, it reminded me ever so much of how the Lake Ontario home felt to me when I was little. Maine is the one place in the East where a lot of the wildness of the deep forest and the rocky shore is palpable.

Philip Koch, Monhegan, Morning, oil on panel, 9x 12", 2009

It's not that I take leave of my senses when I go to Maine. But something deep in my memory seems to rouse from slumber when I'm up there. The feelings of childhood with their inimitable freshness come closer to me.

Philip Koch, First Light, Deer Isle, vine charcoal, 7 x 14", 2009

When you're doing a painting or a drawing and it is going well, it seems to take on a life of its own. A certain spirit comes into it. It is just impossible to nail down with mere words .

Koch on Mount Desert Island, Maine September 2009

Here I am on an early morning on my most recent painting excursion in Maine. Considering I'd stayed up late the night before dancing with the other spirits at the Fairy Ball I felt pretty good and ready for more.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How to Teach Your Children to Hate Art

If you'd like to teach your children to hate the fine arts, I recommend taking them on a trip to one of the really big museums, say the National Gallery of Art or the Metropolitan Museum. Start in the galleries with the big bright splashy abstract paintings and sculpture and systematically work your way through all the galleries, going backwards in time until you hit the cases showing the fractured shards of Etruscan vases. If you find you've skipped any galleries, go back and hit them, as you don't want to miss anything. If you can arrange for one of your kids to be hungry, so much the better.

Obviously, I'm talking about culture as a forced march activity. It cannot be that. While the huge museums have their place, I think you get a bigger bang for your buck at the smaller museums. Art after all, is about some things that are subtle and mysterious- rhythm, balance, flavor, mood. You absolutely can't take these things in with a shovel. One of the smaller museums in Washington, D.C. that's easy on the eyes is the Phillips Collection

Here's a few more of the paintings I wanted to show you from my visit there last weekend.

Above is a work I have loved for years, a view of the famous Staten Island Ferry by John Sloan, on of the prominent members of the Ashcan School of painters. Typical of their early work, it is very concerned with atmosphere, but in terms of greys, browns and blacks. Breaking the subtle greens of the water's surface are the churning wakes of the ferry. These choppy white patches are contrasted with the solid slanting black uprights on the ferry. As the boat lists over towards the right, the lone passenger counterbalances as he leans back to the left. So often it seems skilled artist can exploit an unexpected leaning form to give a sense of movement and life to their painting.

Here's a portrait by Guy Pene DuBois. If you like your sitter, you have to build just the right space for them to live and breathe in. I love the way the overstuffed arm chair crowds the room and squeezes the strip of white wall behind the woman's head. A telling detail is the way the darks of the chair surround the highlighted hands and head of the woman. Notice how her dark hair frames the face with more of the dark tones we saw in the chair. DuBois was so good with color because he knew how to see the dark and light patterns as they emerged in his paintings. He often does very elegant fingers, and especially with the hand on the right, I think he pulls that off once again here.

Finally here's an early Rockwell Kent oil. I generally like his wood engravings most of all, but this oil I think is one of his best. I lost count of how many horse are pulling the roller that's supposed to mash down the snow (this was before engine driven snow plows showed up in the rural countryside). But look at how neatly Kent divides them into two separate masses to keep them from looking like a big undifferentiated herd. This is one of the artists jobs- to find expressive structure for us. Realize here Kent at best only had the briefest sketches to work from. His horses here would have been invented straight out of his fertile imagination.

One other great passage in Kent's oil is the immediate foreground. He breaks it up with a giant irregularly shaped shadow that, like the horses, seems to beckon us down the hill.

Many years ago when I first started going to art museums I often felt frustrated that many of works on display didn't appeal to me. But I figured if I just kept going and looking that over time, I'd learn to appreciate more and eventually most of what they would have on exhibit. Guess what. It never happened.

I realize now art museums are in a sort of catering business for our eyes. You can only eat so much and then you simply have to stop and digest what you've taken in. My goal now when I go to a museum is to find two or maybe three paintings that I really connect with. Sometimes they can grab my full attention for whole minutes and I'll just fall into them. Then I'm off again to find what's best on the smorgasbord. I don't over eat, but I really relish the few pieces I dig into.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Times at the Phillips Collection

My wife and I went down to Washington, D.C. yesterday to visit the Phillips Collection, the lovely small museum in a residential neighborhood that bills itself as the first museum in the country dedicated to modern art. We were there to see their Georgia O'Keefe: Abstraction show up through May 9, 2010. It's a collaboration between the Phillips, the Whitney Museum, and the Georgia O'Keefe Museum, where my old friend Barbara Lynes is the Curator. The show is very good and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

The Museum guards are told to not let visitors photograph work that isn't part of the Phillips' Permanent Collection, so I wasn't able to show you views of the O'Keefe show. But there is enough other stuff up that there's an embarrassment of riches. It's pretty hard to feel slighted. Above is probably the Phillips' most famous work, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir.

French impressionism has been so famous for so long that contemporary artists sometimes rush past it to look at something else. Yet this is one heck of a painting. Renoir clothes his partying figures in white, knitting them together with the heavily laden tablecloth in a seamless and dancing whole. So delicate is Renoir's brushstroke that you feel you're looking at the scene through a sweet imperceptible mist. He loads up the food and wine on the front table with extra detail and thick impasto highlights, going right up to the limit. Then he pulls back and paints the background figures with just enough restraint and economy that the piece tells a story of rich abundance rather than cheesy excess. It is a remarkable balance.

Below is another favorite of mine from the Phillips' collection, a Bonnard oil of what is surely the most politely posing dog in all of French painting. He sits still and erect for us, with his long snout lining up perfectly with the neck of the inevitable bottle of wine and a vertical stripe in the back wall. (Sometimes I wonder if every one of the old French painters took an oath to paint as many wine bottles as possible). Bonnard leans his sitter over to the left and give her red blouse the most lovely diagonal stripes to contrast the stiffness of the hound's pose. The relaxed intensity of the greens and blues surrounding the figure play off against the intense color of her top. A lucky dog to spend eternity among such exquisite colors.

Speaking of blues and greens, pictured below there was a cubist oil by Jun Gris in another gallery that played those cool colors off of greys and browns in the foreground in a delicate harmony. Gris was I think the very first painter I bought a book on in my freshman year at Oberlin College. I'd just started taking a color design class and Gris' ability to get a lot of color impact employing relatively little color intrigued me. That first addition to my art library was shortly to be followed by countless other art books. I have learned so much from them over the years.

Here's my wife Alice making time with good old Paul Cezanne. It's funny to think of Cezanne as the pivotal painter who swung open the doors for modernism to bound into European art when you look at this conservatively toned self portrait. Look for a moment at how expressive the shape is of his receding hair, forming a little dark peninsula reaching up into the broad expanse of his balding scull. Like any good painter, Cezanne knew to find personality in the things other people were likely to overlook.

Compared to the moody darkness of the preceding Cezanne, this Van Gogh is absolutely wild in how light the shadows are painted. It's a lovely balance of contrasting cool grey green tree limbs against a warm orange background. Van Gogh carefully goes back in and draws dark outlines around some of his favorite branches. This is a painting that could easily have failed had the artist not had such an eye for how much outlining he needed. Just enough and no more, he seems to say. Like Renoir, Van Gogh is often overlooked by today's artists, probably because of the ear story that everyone seems to know. It's almost like a curse that keeps people from taking the artists very real accomplishments seriously. Well, when his illness didn't immobilize him, Van Gogh was a deeply impressive painter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good News About Edward Hopper's Legacy

Philip Koch, Edward Hopper's Rooms by the Sea, oil on canvas, 42 x 63"

Above is a painting that's something of a love letter to the painting below by the famous American realist painter Edward Hopper. It's titled simply Rooms by the Sea and lives in the Yale University Art Gallery. When I was a teenager I saw this Hopper's oil reproduced in Time magazine and thought it was strange, but also pretty good. It was the first Hopper image I'd ever seen.

Little did I know back then I had just met the man who would have the biggest single influence on my career as a painter.

Hopper's painting is a fictionalized version of the corner of his painting room in the studio he had built for himself in 1934 out near the tip of Cape Cod in South Truro, MA. In a lot of ways its a hymn to the beauty of the sea and the famous Cape Cod light. My own painting is more naturalistic and is a bit more faithful to the actual arrangement of the doors, the sunlight, and the water. Considering all the restraints I allowed reality to place on myself, I didn't do half bad.

In the last couple years a dispute has brewed between those who want to preserve the land just north of the studio as it has been for decades, as pictured below, and a new landowner who has been constructing a mega-sized mansion just on the other side of the little white Hopper house. Just last night I learned from the current owners of the Hopper studio they've had a significant legal victory to restrain the people building the oversized new mansion.

If this holds up, I consider it to be a victory for everyone who values this living piece of American Art History, the land Hopper looked at every day while he painted dozens of his greatest masterpieces. If anything is worth preserving, this legacy is.

I'm scheduled to return this fall for my 13th residency staying and working in the Hopper studio. Naturally I've grown more than fond of it. Wanted to close with a pastel I did from life standing in the artist's kitchen looking into his bedroom. It's quite a view.

Philip Koch, Truro Studio Bedroom,
pastel, 14 x 7", 2006

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Putting on Your Chef's Hat

Here's an older painting of mine I've always liked a lot. It's The Roof, oil on canvas, 20 x 14" and was painted from life just down the road from my studio in Baltimore. I live in a very hilly section of town and love being able to look down on a roof top. The real engine of this painting is the contrast of warm and cool colors against each other. Obviously the big decision was that the architecture would be cooler than the foliage in the background. The forest in back acts like a giant trampoline that bounces your eye back to the front if you wander too far into the distance.

The trick with color is that one has to see many colors at once, much like hearing chords in music. I wanted to keep the architecture always cooler than the leaves, but still vary its temperature vigorously. It's always a question of a color balancing act.

Here's the large palatte in my painting studio that I bragged about in my last blog post.

One of the secret weapon a painter can use is the biggest possible space to lay out what I call spreads of colors (don't know anyone else who uses that term, though I'm sure someone out there does). A big palatte to work on helps.

I'm working on a huge sky today for a different painting but it uses most of the same pigments as The Roof. The large puddle of color at the top of the picture is approximately 12" wide and is a mixture of two complementary colors, burnt sienna pigment with ultramarine blue. Both are considerably lightened up with titanium white.

I've been careful to mix a little more sienna into the left side of the spread and a little more blue into the right. I mix way more of the color than I think I'll be needing so I can experiment and play around a little as I go. Below that puddle is another of a darker and cooler blue grey. It's the same pigments as the above puddle but with some raw umber added in. I'll be adding more white and still other hues to it to create a second giant spread of colors. The key is to keep building a wide array of options for you to choose from for painting at hand.

Color mixing is a lot like cooking, only with cooking once the spice has been added to the soup you can't take it back out again. With a big palatte, you can try out all the possible combinations of ingredients right there on the palatte. The ones that work get lifted up onto the canvas. The ones that don't stay put.

Sometimes I think I should wear one of those big puffed out white chef's hats in my studio. What do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Morning Light in my Studio

Wanted to share the moment with you.

I walked into my studio this morning and was struck at how beautiful the natural light streaming into the space was. Usually I don't show people my work until its done, but this is more a glimpse of the whole working environment. I spend a lot of time right here, standing in the same spot mixing colors in endless combinations. Painters get very fond of their tools. When the magic is working right, they become extensions of your hands and ultimately of your ideas.

If you click on the photo you'll see it enlarged, revealing the lovely little row of fresh white oil pigments. They always remind me of Hershey's Kisses that came in a shape I decided was just perfect when I discovered them as a child. Here on my palatte they look ready and raring to go.

As I do a fair number of large studio paintings, I store my pigments on the small palatte to the right and do the color mixing on the larger palatte to the left. It's a large masonite board nailed to the wooden studio table. I used to try to do everything on just the small palatte, but found I had to stop everything to clean the palatte when I switched into a different family of colors. With a really large palatte you can leave a whole tribe of cool blue colors wet and ready while mixing up a contrasting spread of oranges and reds. A big palatte just gives you more space to have more color choices available to choose from. I find it a great help.

Time to get to work...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Steamy Bedrooms

I was asked by a student to do a slide show on Toulouse Lautrec, who's an artist I confess I'd never paid all that much attention to. His most frequently reproduced images are commercial lithographs with mostly all flat shapes and no natural lighting. So I'd usually tended to graze at the other end of the meadow looking at the work of artists closer to my own way of seeing.

But I was pleasantly surprised at some images that were new too me. Here's one above that's down right steamy. I like the way Lautrec covers the whole canvas with a deep red hue and then has a white blouse and some distant white sheets literally pop out of the composition. The artist first creates an all-enveloping darkly romantic, atmosphere for this amorous couple. Now that I've seen such a rich environment, anything less sensuous would be a terrible let down.

The second painting couldn't be more different in mood, even though the bed seems to have the same red comforter on it. Has any bed ever looked more cozy? It's amazing how much feeling Lautrec puts into his figures while only showing us part of their heads. Notice how much expression he milks out of the carefully drawn silhouettes of the woman's and the man's hair. With you hand block out the triangle of red comforter in the lower right corner of the picture and see how the form of the white sheets becomes mushy and dull without it. Lautrec has a fantastic eye for the expressive potential of shapes. He could tell us a lot with very little.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Gem in Maryland: UMUC's Arts Program

This is Le Danseur Noir, a bronze by James Earl Reid. I like its marriage of muscled strength with a lightness and elegance of pose. I think we'd all like to look like this guy.

It is included in the current show of the University of Maryland University College's Arts Program. I've been involved with UMUC's Arts Program for many years. They organized my current seven museum national traveling exhibition. UMUC has for many years had an active mission to collect, document, and exhibit art from the state of Maryland. As a Maryland artist, this tugs at my heart because nobody else in the region is doing this. And UMUC does it very well.

The current show is dedicated to one of the key forces that started UMUC's Maryland Artists Collection, Doris Patz. Speaking as a totally unbiased Maryland Artist (who has three pieces in the Collection), I think this an extremely worthy project. Consequently I've volunteered on the Arts Program's Art Advisory Committee as its longest serving member. Years ago Doris called me up and asked if I'd be willing to donate a painting to this Collection. I'd never heard of her so I told her no. A few years later she called again with the same request and I again declined. But her tenacity intrigued me. Gradually I learned these people were serious about building a collection and exhibiting the work with a high level of professionalism. My resistance started to crumble. I realized this was a train I wanted to catch.

UMUC has put this show together to honor the memory of someone instrumental in its Arts Program's creation. Doris passed away recently so its a fitting time for an exhibition to celebrate on of her great enthusiasms.. It's a group show with a lot of abstraction in it along with a few realist oriented works. One of the things I like about UMUC and this show is the chance it gives me to rub shoulders with artists whose outlook and enthusiasms are a little different than my own. Sometimes they can do some remarkable things.

One of the most famous artists I've been able to get to know was Grace Hartigan, one of the key abstract expressionist painters and one of the first women to gain a serious following for her abstractions. She taught for many decades at Maryland Institute College of Art and only stopped teaching shortly before her recent death. Many of the graduate students who have helped me teach my classes at MICA were her students. Above is a major oil from 1969, Venus Observed. This is the kind of painting that's about bold and totally flattened out forms pushed right up against the surface of the painting. She's going for a big and loud first impression. To me it always looked like a very crowded party where the music was good and loud.

Here below is an oil by Keith Martin, a prominent Baltimore abstractionist who died some years ago. Like Grace Hartigan above, Martin wanted to propel the viewer's eye across the surface of his painting first and only then hint at little hidden recessed spaces in the piece. I had the pleasure of talking several times to this man of surprising gentleness and great modesty at his exhibits at the C. Grimaldis Gallery. He did amazing work on paper in both graphite and also collage. This oil is Escaping Deity.

Raoul Middleman is a colleague of mine and friend from the MICA up in Baltimore where we've both taught for many years (though Raoul beat me there). Below is his oil on canvas, Portrait of William Leizman, a picture bundling over with Middleman's characteristic energy.

Below is The Town (St. Mary's City), oil on canvas, 60 x 36" by Thomas Rowe. It's a painting that's one of my personal favorites in the Collection. A crowded dream like a stage set seems ready for a moody drama to begin. I like the way Rowe piled his houses one on top of the other

And here's a tempera and watercolor by David Driskell, an African American painter who is currently enjoying a surge in popularity with a show at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.
It reminds me ever so much of the wonderful dancing trees by another famous American painter, Charles Burchfield.

Here's Susan Aldridge on the right, President of UMUC talking with some of Doris Patz's family at the opening reception of the show recently. Aldridge has been with UMUC only a couple of years but is a serious supporter of the role visual art can play in bringing people together and bringing a special identity to the University.

And here at the right is the new Director of UMUC's Art Program, Eric Key. Eric's come to run the Program from a museum in the midwest just this year.

Eric and his staff have an extremely ambitious set of exhibitions and programs set for the next period. One I'm particularly excited by will be staging a juried exhibition for artists of the Mid-Atlantic region in the summer of 2011. For many years the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art held such juried shows every two years and forged links with the living artists of the region in the process. Unfortunately those long running shows have both been discontinued, but it is good to see UMUC stepping up to the plate. I urge all artists in our region to be on the look out for upcoming information on this show. Like all UMUC's shows, trust me that it will be extremely professional and elegantly presented. I'd urge all collectors and artist to come check out their Arts Program. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Course of Our Lives

Many years ago when I was an undergraduate student at Oberlin College, I made a new friend friend Larry Farmer who hailed from Oklahoma. I liked him a lot, not the least for his steady stream of homespun aphorisms. One day in talking about something or other he used the phrase "still water runs deep". Though this saying is common enough, this was the first time I'd ever heard it. The mental image of a current of change running unseen just below the surface struck me as a profound mental image. Still does.

Above is a painting by the artist George Inness of the Deleware Water Gap, where the Delaware River (of George Washington fame) cuts through the Appalachian Mountains. The channel has widened and deepened enough to allow the surface to calm even though thousands of gallons of water pass by every second. Inness paints a rainbow that has appeared, presumably after the downpour that replentished the water's flow. I think the painter hints that this placid river comes with a story of its own.

Living is a bit like being a river- like it or not you just keep moving forward. You come to places in your life that fit perfectly and you love it. Then the unstopping flow pushes you on around the bend even if you'd have preferred to linger awhile.

There are other times when the river's channel narrows, forcing the current to speed up. Where there are obstructing rocks or logs, the water churns its way downstream.

And there are extreme cases- Frederick Church painting the Niagara River near where I grew up in upstate New York crashing over America's most dramatic water fall. I remember my parents taking me to see it when I was about 6 and feeling very frightened by its massiveness and incredible droning roar.. Every once in a while all of us seem to go over such falls in our own lives. When my father died when I was a boy it felt like a steep fall over a precipice.

Science tells us we're mostly water. Unlike water, we human have some choice about how we live. The current of time pulls us through both smooth and rough passages. We might as well welcome both. And there are times when we have at least some choice about which branch of the river to take on our way down to the great sea.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Element of Surprise

One of the best reasons to get out of bed in the morning is to find out what's going to happen during the rest of your day. I'm happy to report that I'm up and downing coffee right now to prepare for whatever the day has to offer.

Life is rich because it surprises us. We strain to see what's coming up at us just around the bend up ahead. And always reality presents herself to us little differently than we'd imagined she would. Artists earn their keep when they take this spirit of the unexpected to heart.

Above is one of my favorite paintings in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. It's by George Inness, the wonderful late 19th century American painter who hung out all over New England and then, of all places, New Jersey. Still wherever he worked, he found something unexpected to tell us.

This oil would be a typical forest interior except he does something so unusual with it. One would expect to be invited to tip toe deeper and deeper into the forest along some kind of pathway provided by the artist. Instead he turns the forest into a surprisingly shallow space, really just a darkened backdrop for his amazing, glowing foreground tree trunk. It seems the whole spirit of the landscape is summed up in just this one tree. It looks like it has lived there for a thousand years. When I grow very old and delusional I suspect I'll be found in the Corcoran standing in front of this painting by Inness carrying on extended conversations with this same tree. It's got depth.

But then just when you think you've got this Inness fellow figured out, here he comes with a completely different kind of painting.

Here he changes the light completely so your gaze immediately leaps right over all the trees in the foreground and clambers up the mountain to look at the white cloud in back of the ridge line. All the tones and colors in the bottom two thirds of the painting are pushed together into a warm colored middle tone. The juicy contrasts are segregated up to the very top of the picture.

When you're first presented with a painting you don't know where to look. If the painter is any good, she or he will tell you where. And if the artist is really good, and Inness is right up there, they'll take your eye somewhere it was least expecting to go. And leave you glad you took the trip.