I have now arrived home and still trying to get my sleep patterns back on track. The luggage has been unpacked and clothes washed. Again I took too many things and vow not to make that mistake again!
It’s back to work for me this week and I have to say the biggest adjustment has been to not have a pen or brush in my hand every day. I do hope for this one day to be my reality, but in the meantime am happy to get back to my “real” job. There is much to prepare for the busy season ahead and again would like to acknowledge my Northwoods staff and my family for picking up the slack so that I could pursue my creative dream.
Of course the bookkeeping part of my reality I could do without. That really is the other side of the brain stuff!!
I have gone through my sketchbooks now filled with images and words. I met so many interesting people along the way and there is still much I would like to share with you about my latest adventure.
I have decided to keep this blog going and invite you to come back for future updates.
In the meantime here are a couple more sketches I completed while in Italy and Croatia.
Well what can I say....when you have lemons, make lemonade!
The cold, rain and wind are making it impossible to leave the hotel today. Our studio is open air with an awning and roll down blinds offering some protection but still a challenge to work in. Many in the group are retreating to their rooms to paint, but there are a few who stick it out. Our fearless leader Karlyn was creative with her lesson today deciding to give us tips on how to paint the huge waves crashing along the shore. It was great fun throwing paint while the awning leaked above me dripping water onto my painting. I think it actually improved the finished results!!
Great fun and am looking forward to seeing the sun again....soon I hope!!
Today we ventured out to a local vineyard. The weather didn’t cooperate, but we still enjoyed exploring the grounds.
There were stone buildings with walls half metre thick, and red tile rooftops now almost a burgundy colour in the rain. Here the vines grow row upon row many growing out of stone. These particular plants require very little water and soil. Hard to believe something so tasty could ever grow out of rock!
Everywhere I looked there were signs of old and new side by side. The owner gave us a tour and explained their process and the types of grapes they grow. Their vineyard is located in the only area in the world to use GRK (pronounced gerk ) grapes for their white wine. I must say it is VERY good! He also explained how this property has been in their family for many generations. He has certainly taken it to the next level with new equipment and management. Being the largest vineyard in the area he was able to market his product to the cruise ships that come and go on a daily basis. Quite the entrepreneur!
It was picking time when we were there so many long hours were put in by all the workers in the area. This owner in particular was now working for over 24 hours consecutively and still had to deal with one more tour group after us. Hmmm, I thought I worked hard! One of our painting group actually took a morning to help with the harvest and said how great an experience that was.
When we returned to our studio, we worked on our sketches and began some paintings. I have included one that I did. The first image (above) was about the midway point of painting and the second (below) is the completed image. Like the vineyard owner explained their process, I thought you might enjoy seeing the process of my painting.
You can see in the second piece I added some branches to weave throughout the image. I used just enough information to depict the subject, but wanted the background left to be loose and interesting. The magic for me is when the highlights and darks are put in place giving the painting a depth and richness that then says more than just grapes. You can actually feel the warmth of the light as it weaves its way through the vines. You can almost smell the scent of the fruit now ready to be harvested.