Harvest Your Watercolor Sketching Inspiration
During a Springtime Provence painting workshop with the fine folks at WorkshopsinFrance.com, our support team stayed in charming little apartments for a few days before moving into the chateau we shared with yet-to-arrive guests. We spent time in a local home, tucked against cypress-hedged fields, preparing lists of groceries, planning for transport of incoming artists, and scouting for blooming lavender. The first morning I woke up in France, the kitchen of our little flat held all the quaint countryside charm of Provence in the early morning light. I knew within the first hour of that trip (the first of two), I’d found a lottery of incredible painting images. Beyond the often shared, vicarious outdoor scenery of castles tucked into hills, symmetrically lined lavender fields and cafe-umbrella dotted villages, there was also shimmery-soft, provencal daylight, draped across palpably French interiors. I took thousands of painting photos.
Tap into Your Own Well
When you travel, your eyes and ears (and tastebuds) are set aglow with new inspiration. Surely, in previous trips, you’ve already captured memories with DSLR cameras or cell phone snapshots. You can re-live those wonder-filled hours by painting and drawing from your photos, especially if you’re in a bit of a slump. They don’t have to be stellar photos – as long as they remind you of your travel experiences. Our job as creative folk is more than a little about sharing; we convey with imagery all the other senses felt, thought, seen and heard. You – the artist – notice more than the average bear in the world at large. When you create from a scene other folks walk by hundreds of times – a shadow sprouted from the base of a back-lit daisy – suddenly, the daisy and her shadow are noticeable to everyone. And beautiful. You’ve made the non-visual segment of the population stop and notice something mundane by sharing your re-imagined version of it with your art. What a gift!
Do It: Pull Out Your Sketchbook
Your artwork is a map of all the places you’ve traveled, and the rooms you’ve inhabited, and the landscapes you’ve walked across. Pull out some of your travel photos, and get your creative mojo freshly inspired to make something from your experiences. Even if you’re only trying to get your own eyes to notice more. The practice is so worth it, and the memories of place re-kindle artistry in a way that simply skips past any current stuckness – like stepping over a puddle – when our hands are busy making something. You’ve got this. Make something today.
Etsy is celebrating their 13th anniversary from June 18-22 and each shop owner is invited to participate. Since several of the art festivals I normally exhibit at have gone belly-up, and Etsy provided a great option for selling my art online, well before (2005) Shopify, and in a simpler format than subscription-based, code-heavy shopping carts for web sites, I’m celebrating with them. All original art in my shop will be 15% off from Monday to Friday next week. Have a look here.
Thanks for stopping by today. I’ll be watching the comments to see the link to your travel-related art made this week. Right? Ok, good. Have fun with it! I’ll see you in the next post.
P.S. If you’re thinking about taking an overseas art workshop, and you’re worried that your skills aren’t up to snuff for such an endeavor, read this encouraging and truthful post by artist & lovely person Shirley Hambrick.
The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe