empty road

Creating While Traveling – Part 1

Picture of a home and driveway covered in snow
Winter’s Coming!

In a previous post, I wrote about how creative practices helped me through COVID.  I recovered with no discernable side effects, but my husband ended up with viral pneumonia as a result.  We had planned a winter trip to get out of the cold weather which was affecting his ability to breathe.  For several weeks it was questionable if he would even be able to make the trip.  I was scheduled to attend an art workshop in Phoenix, Arizona in early December and was very much looking forward to going. 

My workshop was canceled and by some miracle and a lot of determination on my part we left Washington state on December 8th and headed south.

The trip was miserable.  Every place we stayed was bitterly cold until we finally reached Henderson, Nevada on the 4th night.  I did most of the driving but was able to get a little sketching on the road and at our first few stops. 

Sketching in the Car

person doodling on a booklet
Photo by MESSALA CIULLA on Pexels.com

It’s easy to forget just how hard it can be to sketch in the car.  Even on a straight stretch, the car still moves beneath the sketchpad.  By the way, I wasn’t driving!  I have a particular sigil – a magical symbol – that resonates with me in the form feathers.  I find them frequently when out on an Artist Walk and save them for who knows what purpose.  I had several in my sketchbook and decided to pick one to draw – not too bad.

Then I tried to sketch my left hand.  The results were not what I wanted but I learned some things.  The first is don’t try to draw your hand in a moving vehicle.  The second was to do whatever it takes to keep your hand in the same position while sketching it – not an easy task. 

Creating in Sedona, Arizona

Land of Red Rocks and Artistic Inspiration

We were scheduled for two weeks in Arizona and my husband was still not doing very well.  We found a Salt Room where you sit in a room infused with Himalayan Salt and breathe it in.  The salt is purported to have healing properties.  The first time, my husband went in by himself and I had some time to do a little sketch while waiting.  Of all the beautiful scenery in Sedona, I pick some trees in a parking lot!  On his next Salt Room session, I went with him and found it very healing and beneficial. 

Sedona Arts Center Workshop

I also signed up for an art class with Gretchen Lopez at Sedona Arts Center.  I painted a still life and enjoyed Gretchen’s teaching style.  If you can’t make it to Sedona, she offers Zoom classes through the Sedona Arts Center.  https://sedonaartscenter.org/people/gretchen-lopez/

Gretchen Lopez

The Results

I left the class with a nearly complete painting. I plan to continue to work on it during my travels. Even though I used water-soluble oils, the painting stayed wet for several weeks and I had to pack it on top of eerything else in the car so it wouldn’t smear!

My still life

Watercolor Portrait with Jennifer Bonneteau

Since we were staying two weeks, I had time to do a little watercolor portrait in a lesson by Jennifer Bonneteau. The lessons were provided by Kara Bullock Art as part of a Christmas Countdown.  I only had time to do the one below, but check out Jennifer’s art.   


Watercolor Portrait

Create for Today?

I couldn’t create every day, but I managed to create quite a bit.  I’m traveling with a portable easel, water-soluble oils, acrylics, and watercolor paints.  I have a sketchbook in my purse, a watercolor pad, and my mixed-media Faces Journal.  My next stop was Tucson, Arizona I’ll be posting more of what I managed to create.

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