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The Art of Cycling – Le TOUR’19

Bookshelf: Bike racing — is it a sport? An addiction? Jogging gone wrong? Or, as some of us like to think, an art? We at PezCyclingNews have been big fans of Greig Leach, the Richmond, Virginia, artist who turns the striving of the athletes in Lycra into spontaneous celebrations in his artwork.

We wrote about Mr. Leach’s brushwork virutuosity last year as he covered the 2018 Tour de France:

A mountain stage in the Tour de France can be a work of art illustrated by those anti-gravity lightweight climbers. Watercolor artist, Greig Leach is again capturing the Tour action ‘as it happens’ on the roads of France and you can see Greig in action on his YouTube channel.

Speed: it’s everything to us. The Hour Record. The fastest time up the Alpe d’Huez. The 4000 m team pursuit. The fastest bike ride around the world (currently 78 days, 14 hours, 40 minutes, if you would like to try). And it appears that if you want to capture pro bike racing as it happens, it helps to have some speed on your side as well, either with a fast lens or, in the case of Greig Leach, a steady eye and one quick, very quick, hand with the pens and ink and watercolors.

No stranger to readers of Pezcyclingnews.com, artist Greig Leach of Richmond, Virginia, has produced some beautiful books of watercolors showing professional riders in action. Mr. Leach’s work emphasizes the “action” part of the story as his technique is to draw while watching the race underway, capturing a particular moment. His vibrant watercolors are colorful, sunny and filled with a visual motion that simplifies what we are seeing.

The artist was the Official Artist of the 2015 UCI World Road Championships held in Richmond and his works were in much evidence throughout the city then, including banners and t-shirts. A former amateur racer himself, he has taken the opportunity to join together two his passions—art and bicycle racing—in a truly unique fashion. During the Worlds, he set himself up in the Convention Center and spectators could come in from the course and watch him creating new pieces on the spot.

With the 2018 Tour de France underway, Mr. Leach has not been content to simply post his images on his blog, with a description of the action, as in the past, but now invites viewers to watch him again, but this time through social media. Each day of the Tour, he is doing a short video (around 14 minutes) showing a work in progress. His encouragement? “Watch one of my six paintings of this stage of the Tour de France come to life. You will learn in equal parts about how to work with watercolors, what is happening in the Tour thus far, and more than you may ever want to know about bike racing.”

Of course, once you have seen the creative process live, you can then go to his blog to look at the other pictures and read his interesting comments about them and, if so inclined, purchase an original artwork.

2019 Tour de France, Stage 13, time lapse watercolor:

More Tour de France, Live Art – Watercolor Tutorial by Greig Leach on YouTube.

Mr. Leach’s blog is theartofcycling.blogspot.com and he is on Twitter @ArtofCycling.

You can see Leslies’s reviews of ‘Book de Tour’ and ‘Art of Cycling’ in the PEZ Bookshelf.

Not content to spin piano piano, Mr. Leach has warmed up his palette and brushes again and the 2019 Tour de France is being captured in his exciting style. NBC/Universal is showing his work in time lapse fashion but you can watch him create art as it happens at: https://www.youtube.com/channel

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