Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Cafe Plein Air" Style

Roussillon, Southern France
Over the past 25 years I’ve had the opportunity to travel and paint in a wide variety of locations.  On my first painting trip I was heavily laden with my art easel, a large portfolio of watercolor paper, a palette, paints and brushes. I hadn’t learned the trick of packing black clothing with a different scarf for each day so I also carried way too many clothes. It wasn’t fun.

With each trip I gradually scaled down my art kit so it could easily fit in a small bag.  I call my style  “café plein air” because I can easily pull out my small sketchbook and watercolor set at any café or on any hike. One glorious day, while sketching on the hilltop of ancient Les Baux in Provence, I began to feel the earth move beneath me and discovered I’d picked a colony of snails to sit upon. They must have been quite nervous about becoming escargot!

Photographs will document your trip but a personal sketchbook will allow you to slow down and really see. My sketchbooks are very precious to me because they have recorded my soul’s experience in the moment – feeling the sun on my face, smelling the air, seeing the shapes and colors, textures and line dance in front of me - all within my little sketchbook of treasures.

Next Post: My travel kit list