Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book de Tour


"Book de Tour" is a collection of my small watercolor and ink paintings from the 2014 Tour de France completed as the race unfolded on my television screen, showing what I believe to be the key moments of each stage.  You'll understand my reasoning as each picture is annotated with my interpretation of what's happening and its importance in this high moving game of chess on wheels. I love to work this way because, as I paint, the story’s conclusion is unknown and, the significance of what I record, unclear until the winner triumphantly crosses the finish line. Cycling’s an unpredictable sport and I love to capture and convey its intensity.

Each of the Tour's 21 stages and the first ever Women's Professional race on the streets of Paris will form a separate chapter in the book and tell the story of this year's race with bold strokes and washes of color as I capture the key moves, lung-searing attacks and counter-attacks, adrenaline-rushing descents, heart-breaking crashes, set amid the glorious landscapes of England, Belgium, Spain and France. It's truly a tale worth telling visually.

The book is a soft cover 240 page collection adapted from many of the blog post that appeared here during the course of the race.  It includes many other additional paintings, a complete list of all of the teams and their riders who rolled out from Harewood House, and a glossary of terms.  This is a story of the Tour that will delight fans of cycling, officiandos and novices alike, but will be just as captivating for lovers of art and watercolors.  You need not love cycling and the Tour de France to savor this book, but it would hurt.

To pre-order you copy for $29.95 USD just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.  The book is in final stages of the pre-press process and will be ready to ship on or about November 1, 2014.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Book%20de%20Tour/2426272-1-0-201710/Book%20Arts.html#.U_6NUs_D_IU

Monday, August 25, 2014

US Pro Challenge Stage 7: The Narrowest of Margins

Best friends and training partners, Kiel Reijnen (UHC) and Alex Howes (Garmin Sharp) repeated their one, two finish from the opening stage of the US Pro Challenge, the difference here, they swapped the order.  Reijnen's second place by the very slimmest of margins still ensured that his Green point's jersey would remain his on the final podium.  Alex Howes' bike throw at the line was the margin of difference in the stage.  One of Reijnen's teammates can be celebrate what he though was another stage victory for his compatriot, he may have been a little embarrassed when he learned the results.  Tejay van Garderen (BMC) crossed the line with the Yellow Jersey firmly on his shoulders.  He was so close to the front of the race because the did his best to lead out his teammate, Martin Kohler, a little unusual for the team leader and winner of the overall race.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this 4"x6" painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But do hurry, this is a first come first served kind of a thing.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2424536---201508/Painting.html#.U_rEjs_D_IU

US Pro Challenge Stage 7: Zipping Along

In a repeat of is break away efforts of stage 4, Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing), was off the front in hopes of ending his professional racing career with a final race victory.  Today he had the company of four others.  He did attack that group, too, with only Javier Mejias (Team Novo Nordisk) able to catch the wheel of the fast disappearing German.  The pair managed to hold off the charging peloton until the start of the final or bell lap of the downtown Denver, Colorado circuit.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this 4"x6" watercolor painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Remember, this is a first come first served sale of artwork, so don't delay!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2424534---201508/Painting.html#.U_rBYM_D_IU

US Pro Challenge Stage 7: The Final Summit

Not only was Lookout Mountain the final climb of the 2014 US Pro Challenge, it was the last climb of the man on the front of the break, Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing).  I'm sure he will continue to ride up many, many mountains on a bike, but this was the last one under racing conditions.  He was one of the five remaining members of the early break that still included, Mick Rodgers (Tinkoff Saxo), Reuben Zepuntke (Bissell Development), Tiago Machado (NetApp-Endura) and Javier Mejias (Team Novo Nordisk).  A side note, Novo Nordisk is a team comprised completely of riders with type 2 Diabetes.  They were started to show how one can live a full active life with the disease. Mejias hanging with three men who did well in the 2014 Tour de France certainly underscores the team's point.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular 4"x6" painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2424528---201508/Painting.html#.U_q-R8_D_IU

US Pro Challenge Stage 7: Dishing Out the Hurt

As the peloton went up the final climb of the 2014 US Pro Challenge, Phil Liggett was saying he didn't understand why Garmin Sharp had put most of the team on the front to drive the pace on the way up Lookout Mountain.  It was his partner, Paul Sherwen, who knew that the boys in blue would want to eliminate as many sprinters as possible on the step climb on the outskirts of Golden, CO.  Phillip Gaimon and Gavin Mannion are looking back down the mountain to see if they have shucked Cannondale and their sprinter, Elia Viviani.  Without the fast Italian, Garmin felt sure their man Alex Howes would be able to get the win he so narrowly missed on the opening stage of the race.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website, www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this 4"x6" painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post. 

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2424526---201508/Painting.html#.U_q6DM_D_IU

US Pro Challenge Stage 7: Skirting the Mountains

The break having lost one of its fold powered south along the edge of the Rocky Mountains before swinging through Golden, Colorado, for the first of two trips through town.  The road down from Boulder is beautiful, long, straight and surprisingly flat.  The big man, Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) swings off of the front, passing the task of breaking the wind to Jesse Anthony (Optum).  The eleven man group was building a good gap over the BMC lead peloton by working together, each taking their fair share of time with their noses in the wind.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular 4"x6" painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But while you are at the website, why not browse all of the artwork on offer.  International shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2424524---201508/Painting.html#.U_q3RM_D_IU

US Pro Challenge Stage 7: Where Else Would He Be?

Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing), as everyone in and out of cycling most likely knows, would be retiring from the sport at the end of today's racing.  While many would just pedal around the course, Voigt set off in the early bread with every intention of winning the final stage of his final race.  He spent most of the day on the front driving the pace of the twelve man break.  Two of his break away compatriots where Reuben Zepuntke (Bissell Development) and Cameron Wurf (Cannondale), they had to be struggling to hold the wheel of the extremely motivated German.  Wurf later dropped off the pace to be there to help the Cannondale sprinter, Elia Viviani, in hopes of getting him over the only climb of the day.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from the family run art supply company, Jack Richeson & Co., www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and indeed all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this 4"x6" painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2424522-33-30-201508/Painting/Sports.html#.U_q01c_D_IU

Saturday, August 23, 2014

US Pro Challenge Stage 6: Besting His Own Time

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) came back to his home stage of Colorado with something to prove.  He is defending his win of the 2013 US Pro Challenge and has been gaining time on his rivals in virtually every stage of the 2014 edition of the race.  With his nearest competitor starting the day 20 seconds down, van Garderen could have sat back and played it safe today, but just like Vincenzo Nibali in the Tour this year, van Garderen came to stamp his authority on the race. He already holds the record for the ascent of this very course up to the Vail Pass, a record of 25 minutes and 2 seconds.  Today as he crossed the line he punched the air, and punched a hole in his own record completing today's time trial in 24 minutes and 26 seconds.  He covered the course 36 seconds faster in the pouring rain, obviously he wasn't just playing it safe.  The first racer to congratulate him at the finish line was the now second fastest on the day, Tom Danielson (Garmin Sharp).  Danielson said into van Garderen's ear (a little too loudly for TV), "You are on fast MFer" as he gave the near certain winner of the 2014 US Pro Challenge a big hug.  Danielson could afford a certain amount of generosity, he had just ridden hard enough to put himself into second overall.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this 4"x6" watercolor and ink painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2423892---201508/Painting.html#.U_lcBs_D_IU

US Pro Challenge Stage 6: Throwing On the Towel

Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) has been one of the surprises of the US Pro Challenge riding third in the overall getting the better of many riders of the ProTour teams.  Jelly Belly is one of the longest continuous team sponsors in the United States giving many riders their first contracts as professional cyclist.  After today's second placing at the time he cross the line, I am sure someone from the 22 ProTour teams will be looking to sign the former Romanian Time Trial Champion.  With the cold rain and total exertion, most soigneurs wrapped their charges with a dry towel.  Once they were off of their bikes, they would be handed try jackets and warm blankets in hopes of getting their body temperatures adjusted as quickly as possible.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this 4"x6" painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2423888---201508/Painting.html#.U_lYXM_D_IU

US Pro Challenge Stage 6: Ripping It Up

Tom Danielson (Garmin Sharp) had his work cut out for him on the penultimate day of the US Pro Challenge.  Danielson started the day just off of the podium in 4th place and trailing the race leader by just over a minute and a half.  Danielson has gone faster than Tejay van Garderen on this very course, but to gain that much time, he will have to count on an extraordinarily bad ride on the part of wearer of the yellow jersey.  The Garmin Sharp rider certainly was doing his part, at the first time check he went through with the new best time, 26 seconds faster than the current stage leader, Mick Rodgers (Tinkoff Saxo).  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this 4"x6" painting for just $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, and yes, international shipping is available. 

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/US%20Pro%20Challenge%202014/2423884---201508/Painting.html#.U_lVS8_D_IU