Someone asked me recently if I made time to paint while on vacation. Vacations are supposed to be filled with one’s favorite activities, so, yes, I paint when I travel! I have two different travel paint sets and a variety of brushes, as well as a pencil and a set of pens that are always in my travel tote. With the pressures of everyday life left behind, inspiration often appears when I’m in vacation mode. The real magic is in keeping that creativity flowing after I’m home.
“Paint”–Graphite and Watercolor
Any seasoned traveler can perform ‘travel math’ computations. ‘Florida summer weather pattern‘ plus ‘late night flight‘ equals ‘travel delay‘. Luckily, I had my sketchbook and pen with me to help pass the time. While my flight was delayed, I had the opportunity to sketch other people making connections.
Connecting with an iPhone
While I have journeyed outside the United States on multiple occasions, my passport remains unstamped. Its blank pages reflect a total lack of travel. When I leave the United States, it’s always by cruise ship. I’ve sailed throughout the Eastern and Western Caribbean, through the Mexican Riviera, and up into Canada. In 2008, when the cruise industry was planning to require passports for travel, I rushed out to apply for mine. That change never took place, and while I do travel with my passport for identification, it doesn’t have a single stamp. There are no official records of my destinations, but I do have the memories, the stories, and volumes of photographs. The sea turtles can surely relate, as their journeys are undocumented, too. Though they travel thousands of miles in a lifetime, there are no proud stamps to boast of their destinations. While it would be nice to have a colorful passport, it’s really all about the journey, and not a little stamp.
“World Traveler”–Watercolor on Board with Swarovski crystals–Who needs a colorful passport when you’ve got a little bling?
I am the first person to cry foul when I think a photograph in a magazine was touched up, photo shopped, or softened with a filter. If you looked at my shots of the ocean in the Bahamas, you might think the photos were altered. They weren’t. The water really does shift from amazing shades of blue into surreal greens, to an almost crystal clear. I could stare at that water for hours on end. That’s just one of the many reasons Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is my happy place. I love to lounge on the sugar white sands of the beach while a balmy breeze dials down the hot Bahamian sun from scorching to ‘just right’. I didn’t have the correct hues in my travel palette to capture the captivating colors of the sea, so I had to work with what I brought. I hope Mother Nature will forgive me.
“Bahama Mama”–Watercolor–from my sketchbook
I love to travel. I’m always thrilled to experience exciting new cities, posh hotels, and amazing restaurants. I usually find myself saying “I wish I could stay one more day” at the end of every trip. Last weekend, things didn’t go quite so well. When I stepped off the plane in Charlotte, I was enveloped in a thick blanket of foreign pollen that inflamed my sinuses and set my throat on fire. Things went from bad to worse when I arrived at the hotel. The queen-size bed felt more like a double, the thermostat wasn’t cooperative which caused me to oscillate between freezing and sweating, the GPS in the rental car routed me through congested construction zones, and something from the hotel’s breakfast buffet left me in desperate need of Pepto-Bismol. It was the perfect travel storm, and I was a fish out of water—floundering on the dock. I was less than 24 hours into my trip and all I could say was “I wanna go home!” I couldn’t wait to get back to my own king-size bed and my kitchen, which is stocked with organic goodness—and Pepto-Bismol. When I finally made it home, my inner artist needed solace, too. I pulled out my watercolor tubes and brushes. And to me, that’s just as comforting as a warm blanket and a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s good to be home.
“Fish out of Water”–Pen and Watercolor on Arches Aquarelle