The first few days in Paris were stressful knowing a hurricane was heading to Florida. We then went to Dole in Burgandy to a beautiful chateau. We were not sure if we have a home when we returned. I let go mentally of all of my physical possessions and paintings but was very worried about all the people still in Sarasota and nearby places. Now that Irma has come and gone and our family and friends are ok (last we heard all was well) I am again excited to paint.
In the nearby city of Dole one could stay for a month or more and paint at this one location where the canal is. I started with a small study. The paper color served to represent the color of the buildings. I painted in the sky, water and foliage quickly. I always do a smaller version first. It speeds up the process of working on the larger piece. I then captured it on an 10" x 8" panel before it rained. Then we had a bite to eat. When in France, be sure to have the cheeses with your meal- wow! There was still time before it rained to start a second 10" x 8" piece which is pictured below. These plein air pieces will serve as studies for larger works of art too.
On this trip, I started two travel journals. In one, I paint classical small studies in. What a great way to keep those smaller version handy at all times and organized. In the other journal, I drew and wrote about my experiences and insights from the trip. Next June we will be again traveling to southwest France with a group to Sacred Places. Again I'll take the two journals. I'll teach both artists and non-artists how to use their travel journal to enhance their experience. Click here for more info.
For artists, the small studies are vital when capturing the essence of a place quickly. Too many artists jump right in without first making an analysis of the place, the colors and the values (lightness or darkness). Doesn't it make sense to figure out all of the potential issues in a small study before you go larger? Less struggle, better results! And...working small will allow you to capture more places quickly. At home turn the best studies into fine works of art. There is a sample of both of my new journals below. To learn about quick studies - click here.
For those who are not artists, the travel journal is a perfect place to record your experiences and insights along with the use imagery. Use either someone else's pictures cut out of magazines or postcards or your own sketches even if they are elementary. It doesn't matter. No one is judging this. You will learn how to use abstract doodle like shapes to express stories, to unearth hidden treasures from within and more. Look for my next blog where I'll talk more about journaling. I am sure you have at one point written in a a diary. This is similar only it has a focus and includes images and EVERYONE can participate. It is addicting.