Investing in art materials is just that , an investment Living in beautiful Santa Cruz California calls for painting outdoors. So I invested in the product most plein air pastelists buy ….a fancy Heilman pastel box The fun part is loading the box with my personal selection of favorite sticks. I then created my “art bag”…hat, paper, gloves, towels, apron , support to put paper on , etc. For days now, I have been driving by this spot on a cliff overlooking the beach nearest my home and imagining setting up there and painting. This painting is the result of that dream. My first outing with my plein air set up.
Preparing for an upcoming Open Studio , I am building my original art inventory . Referring to previous original works I have completed, I am reinventing the image . Using a larger piece of high quality archival sanded paper by Pastelmat
( 15.5″ x 12″), I am finding this a most rewarding practice. Improving upon already existing work builds skills and most of all confidence. It helps me to see the pastel marks that I made on the previous piece versus working from a photo. It’s a more direct instructional experience for me. To reproduce a piece of art relieves me of the interpretation needed to paint from a photo. To practice what one has already accomplished with a measurable bit of success is confidence building. As an artist , half of the challenge is having such confidence. Confidence to even claim my place in the world as a creative person…an artist … to me that takes some moxie, some gumption, some confidence!
Summer greens can get a bit monotonous….Why not paint the colors of autumn in summer? Or the springtime lovelies…. exercising my artistic license….off season.
I prefer off season for most things but mostly for travel. The magic of winter in Yosemite coupled with the absence of the throngs of people make for a desirable winter getaway. Venice in the winter, I hear, is also very magical…so why not paint off season? How about a paint/ travel adventure in the off season?? I’m packing my bags and my pastels!!
Four countries, four people, eight locations, walked 130 miles….trains, planes, stinky buses, gliding gondolas….Europe. Travel is intense living. Three and a half weeks is an ambitious time frame to fit it all in. My family and I landed in Munich…first impression…the neo-gothic town hall in Marienplatz…an enormous building dripping with gargoyles and spires…bells ringing…this, our first sight up from the subway into the light of Germany. We were speechless…there are no buildings even remotely close to that first impression here on the west coast of California…Munich, Bavaria, Venezia, Slovenia, Croatia, Istria…..
We hiked the alps in southern Germany…a grueling 4 mile descent…my knees are still cranky after nearly 6 weeks…the breathtaking panorama view from the top of Nebelhorn…
Lovely honey colored cows each with it’s own bell filling the airwaves with old world song. We brought a miniature bell home for one of our cats…she’s a bit of a cow…we love her.
Venice…everyone needs to go to Venice and if art is your passion…it’s mandatory. The light is turquoise. I tried to stare at the light so as to imbed it into my memory, so as not to forget, so as maybe to capture it in a painting…we’ll soon see…
The jewel that is Slovenia…a best kept secret with it’s quaint capitol Ljublijana…(lyooblyana)…the birthplace of marionette puppetry, who knew?
Onto Croatia and engrossed with the history of the once war torn Yugoslavia seeing remnants of buildings that were victim to the violence. Imagine the people then. It’s a long story that continues.
This story will continue as well….. stay tuned…so glad to be back at my easel.
~Ciao for now.
Tomorrow I leave for a grand European vacation with my family. New adventure awaits …. more memories to be made. Our fabulous family of four has traveled together several times….Hawaii, Belize, Washington D.C., Paris, Australia, Alaska….to name a few.
Travel allows me to put my life on hold… to peak into another dimension of life …. to appreciate the grand glorious world we inhabit…to ultimately return home with a renewed gratitude…I will return with oodles of inspiration for future works of art! I plan to sketch and watercolor during my travels creating a journal of colorful visual entries…. trying a new medium will add to the newness of everything. Stepping out of my comfort zone is what I love to do. Curiosity is what motivates me to create….what better way to achieve that than to travel!
The above piece is the last pastel for awhile….it is a larger version of a small tree study I did awhile ago…..Hang onto that vibrant color ! It’ll be back!