Sketching on the move has been my thing in recent years. The rocking and bumping of a train car doesn't bother me much, in fact I use that motion for interesting mark making. But what about painting, especially watercolor? Last June I had the chance to give it a try, and turns out it was pretty awesome.
Travelling from Paris to Provence you come across some stunning views of the French country side. I had my travel watercolor boxes and book with me, why wait until I arrived at my destination to paint? I set up my supplies on the folding tray and went right to work.
As we passed through the landscape at high speed I had to rely on my memory a lot. That's actually a good thing, it helps your brain stay sharp. When I would see something interesting I would put down some quick lines on the page, and try to take a photograph with my mind of what I was looking at. Then on to the next page until another scene caught my eye.
After I had enough information down in my book and in my brain, I began applying color, that's when the fun began. I have always admired artists who travel and work en route to their destination. There is some sort of worldly flair to it and I got to live it.
The fun continued after I arrived in Provence, I continued applying colors to some of the pencil lines I had laid down on the pages of my watercolor book.
I was able to fill my book halfway on this last trip to Provence, and I'm looking forward to finishing it this coming June as I return to teach a plein air sketching course. I will be posting more watercolors from Provence soon, in the meantime check out the information on my two week course by following this link: https://www.artistimmersionprogram.com/france
"Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision-it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so."
- Charles W. Hawthorne -
"One of the functions of art is to remind us of common humanity. The artist, like the priest, can sometimes remind us that we are bound by an obligation to one another stronger and more lasting than the bonds of politics or economics."
- John Manchip White, Diego Velazquez: Painter and Courtier -
"To defend an artist as original says little about his work except that it is in some way different from what preceded it. As such, originality itself is rarely a strong defense, for it is born more of admiration for audacity and perseverance than necessarily of understanding." - James H. Rubin, Manet's Silence and the Poetics of Bouquets -