Re-Living Travel Moments
Here’s a little watercolor painted from a quick study made on a lovely afternoon sitting in a shady doorway in Venasque, France. I painted several street scenes to use as studies for larger paintings while on the trip I took in June. That’s my friend Angel, sketching on the lip of the fountain.
I’ll be at the Thousand Oaks Arts Festival this weekend, so be sure to say hello if you’re in the area. I just posted a newsletter with the rest of my upcoming show dates, and you can see that here. (If you’d like to subscribe to the newsletter, you can do that over here.)
Street Painting Inspiration
Here’s an inspirational 12 minute video of Canadian artist Marc Taro Holmes doing a street scene in watercolor in Alvor, Portugal. There are some nice tips here in his comments, his set up and his sequential approach to painting, and his web site (click his name above) has all sorts of supply lists you may find useful too.
Make it Last
Painting from travel photos keeps vacations alive longer. The practice of really looking at your collected imagery while you draw or paint seals the image in your memory even stronger than it did while you were on site. I took a basic drawing class at Santa Barbara City College in the 80’s, and the instructor directed us to draw the window in our bedrooms from memory in the classroom. He collected all the drawings, and as homework, instructed us to do 5 quick gestural drawings of our bedroom windows at home. In the next class, he asked us to draw our bedroom windows again from memory, and he hung the first drawings next to the new drawings to illustrate how much acquaintanceship there is in the act of art making. The second drawings were almost unrecognizably better than the first drawings. So, yeah, you really get to know a thing when you’re drawing or painting it directly in front of you. Pull out your travel photos, and go there again. 🙂
Art as Brain Food
Have you visited a gallery recently? Did you hear about this University of Westminster study, documenting that a half-hour walk through a gallery or museum on a lunch break accelerated the drop of cortisol (called ‘the stress hormone’) 5 hours faster than the normal rate of decline?
Excerpt from the study:
- We studied the impact of a brief lunchtime visit to an art gallery on city workers’ levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as self-report levels of stress and arousal.
- Average levels of cortisol and self-report stress were significantly reduced by the visit, levels of arousal were unchanged.
- On arrival at the gallery levels of cortisol were elevated relative to expected values. Following the gallery visit the cortisol concentrations had normalised to those expected for the time of day.
- The observed drop in cortisol was rapid and substantial; under normal circumstances it would take about 5 hours of normal diurnal decline for cortisol levels to fall to this extent.
- We conclude that the gallery visit caused rapid normalisation (recovery) from the consequences of high stress.
So, if you don’t have plans for your next lunch break, or you’re looking for a great way to kick off the weekend, email a friend with a date and time, and visit a gallery or a museum over lunch, or on a Friday after work to get relaxed and re-charged for the next task at hand.
Happy painting! See you in the next post!
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