Recently my husband and I traveled to multiple cities in Italy. This was a much awaited 20th anniversary trip for us. We loved it and soaked it all in! During our time in Italy we visited 5 different cities but stayed overnight in 3. I decided to come prepared and wanted to journal at least a little bit each day to document the wonderful things we saw and did.
I brought a little art journal that was full of blank watercolor paper. Mixed media papers would have worked too. My dad had left me a portable leather wallet that zips and has lots of spaces for things. It looks like it was for storing business cards back in the day. The wallet worked perfectly for paint brushes, pencils and permanent ink pens. I took it along with me in my travel bag along with my portable pan paint set. I'm not the most organized person, but I did love having a little compartment for everything.
On the train rides in between cities, I could make good use of the time by painting quick little sketches. Here I am on the train ride from Florence to Venice painting olives. Olive trees and fallen olives were everywhere in Italy; just like our Florida oaks and acorns!
We stumbled across an art store in every city. Above is one we found in Venice that was hidden away on a corner. We thought it was just office supplies, but once inside there were lots of art goodies and an Italian man behind the counter ready to help. Below is a "Coloreria" or "paint" store that we stumbled across in Rome. Of course afterward we made sure to sample the Gelato across the street.
Here I was picking out watercolor pencils. Luckily, I knew from reading art books and blogs that Europeans call watercolors "aquarelles." I could've spent hours in this store, but my husband and our travel companions were patiently waiting on me : )
I'll be honest, I didn't love all of the watercolors I created while in Italy, but it certainly helped make my journal colorful and unique. In the end, I was glad I painted the few that I did. I reminded myself that it's not about perfection but instead practicing, learning and having fun!
Last night my lovely artist friend, Holli and I hosted a paint night. We were hired to lead a watercolor tutorial for a birthday celebration.
The ladies brought an unbelievable array of food to celebrate.
As they were munching and mingling, Holli leans over to me and whispers, "this is now the age group of our church leaders... it's a beautiful thing". It caught me off guard as I had been so focused on things like, what we will paint? Was it too hot in my kitchen? What serving spoons should I put out?
All night I thought about that comment as I watched Jess (our pastor's wife) make us all laugh, Michelle (our music minister's wife) orchestrate the night and Hanna (our youth minister's wife) pop back into my sick teenage daughter's bedroom to make her feel loved and seen.
As we painted, the friends laughed, caught up and brought forth some beautiful peafowl.
Holli and I talked about how we used to be these ladies with young ones and ripe with little babies on the way. For Holli it was about 18 years ago and for me about 10. Now we are reminded that we are the older ladies...
Titus 2 in the bible says that older women should teach what is good and train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, busy at home, to be kind and to love their husbands well.
Only on this night, they were the ones who were teaching and inspiring us ...
This next generation of mammas has us encouraged and feeling peace and hope for the future. They've got this!
If you are considering taking an art class but are worried about making the time or taking on the extra expense, here are 10 fresh things to consider ...
1. It's a myth that to make art you need talent. It's REALLY about making the time to practice and learn the skills.
2. As we get older, we should have a hobby that we enjoy (besides eating and napping).
3. The best way to make lasting, sustainable progress in anything is by taking baby steps.
4. A structured, set-aside time to paint helps you ... actually paint.
5. Art class serves as a great way to feel less stress. Taking a deep breath and slowing everything down to only focus on one task is refreshing!
6. Teacher and peer feedback. Being able to have others give you real feedback on how to improve your work is truly invaluable.
7. Learn about the creative process. If you aren't an artist yourself but love art, taking a class like this can help you learn more about what goes into a piece.
8. You'll stretch yourself. Say no more!
9. You'll have something in your week to truly look forward to. It's relaxing and enjoyable!
10. You will rekindle a long-lost passion. Most of my adult students enjoyed making art as a kid but set it aside because of life's demands. Now is the time to pick your love back up. As Pablo Picasso once said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once one grows up.”
If I've peaked your interest, then here is the link for class details.
A newly finished watercolor of a bundle of grapes to inspire you. I am planning a trip to Italy this year and I have vineyards on my brain!
Whether I am working with a client on their brand identity, teaching students or creating a watercolor piece, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...