It’s that time again… time for me to wrap up my articles about my recent Californian trip with a few reflections from my adventures. I love doing this after an overseas trip – you can read the other articles here.
This time I am going to keep it short and only share three thoughts.
Going on these big trips is an extravagant exercise, and so having a workshop (or two) to help fund the travel makes a lot of sense. But this trip was teaching free and therefore a big expense but I like to view it as an investment in myself as an artist. I love teaching beyond words, but because I wasn’t doing that this trip, I was more open to receiving new ideas. And I got an abundance of them – in fact I wrote four pages of notes recording the thoughts and ideas that I could remember once I was home.
Through my meetups with other artists, I got a heap of new ideas for art projects and also for my business. I had so many rich conversations about art and life as an artist this trip!
I also had time for the development of new skills through my success and failures in sketching the Victorians, the Craftsman houses and shadows on the white Mission buildings.
My sketchbooks for this trip contain the greatest variety of subject matter that I have achieved for a long time.
Being with other sketchers who took me to their favourite spots was a big part of this (eg. Suhita took me to sketch a vintage sign, Nina to the Google Campus, Gay to a redwood tree, Virginia/Phoebe to a garden and many more). When I’m in Europe I am often city bound and then sketch a lot of buildings, or if I’m in Scotland an do a lot of landscapes. But on this trip I saw a great variety – part of that is the richness of California too.
On this trip I made an adjustment to my palette and swapped out Cerulean Blue Chromium (temporarily) for Cobalt Blue. Now that I am home I want to make a more permanent change so that I can have both in my palette.
So why the change?
The light was different in California and the sky was a deeper and pinker blue than I am used to seeing. Cerulean Blue Chromium with a bit of Quin Rose (my usual solution) didn’t feel right so I tried Cobalt Blue and loved it.
Once Cobalt was in my palette I rediscovered what a gorgeous transparent pigment it is. (Note: I used to have Cobalt in my palette a number of years ago so it wasn’t a new colour by any means). I also realised how much it is a main stay to Brenda Swenson’s shadows.
I will be sharing more about Cobalt in a future article, but rediscovering it was definitely a big event of this trip.
There was so much more to my CA18 trip than these three ideas, but they are the most important takeaways.
Thanks for coming in the journey with me! I hope you enjoyed the ride.