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!
Whether I am painting custom artwork, creating a water colored logo for a client, or teaching art students, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...