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I'm about to drive across the country. Half excited, half dreading the long journey, I'm making decisions of what art supplies to pack. Really, you'd think this would be a simple task...just bring everything! Of course, I envision stopping roadside to capture every new plant life, river & mountain.
I will be resting along the highways & byways to picnic in a bucolic setting watching the sunsets as I go west, painting en plain air.....ahhhhno.
Recently I returned from one trip to New Hampshire & Maine and another from the Adirondacks of New York. I am more fully aware and at ease with the methods and habits of my day as an artist that have worked for me over the years. Always changing as I've added new skills, I've also learned to be kind to myself and not beat myself up when that gorgeous sunrise was not captured, brush in hand at that moment right there on the spot or sketched in newly purchased journals.
You see, I was present, but I had a nice hot cup of coffee in hand and felt the chill in the fresh mountain pine scented air. I watched the sun peaking through the trees and sparkling on the water. I absorbed my colors and my hand would sometimes trace in the air the movement of the trees in the breeze. I silently watched ...the birds flying through the mists, the gentle ripples of landings on the water that made the reeds sway......and then I painted, after arriving home, in my studio.
From these moments observed, felt, ingested, my painting has evolved. Fascinated by textures on the surface of my canvases the rock that I saw is now collaged in 3D on my canvas. The waterfalls cascade in abstract shapes. I am true to my vision, my painting.
I'll bring my sketchbook, make some notes, splash some paint ......maybe they will get used. I know with all certainty that the paintings I do in the near future will be the rocks I climbed and skittered down. The trees that shade me (and I sneakily climb) will appear in textured surfaces of paint. Observed, inhaled, skinned knees and all, the West will become a part of this Eastern artist's vocabulary because I lived it ...not just recorded it.