What I Did On My Winter Vacation
FEBRUARY 1, 2012
The illustrations were fine distractions from the rituals of cruise entertainment- namely food and more food, which held the potential for great abuse. Daily workouts in the gym and on the decks and pools didn't save us completely from adding a few pounds. But as I had no interest in shopping, sun bathing, or the casino while Terri was attending her lectures, making time each day to finish my work for the book was a no brainer and very productive in terms of concentration. But what I really looked forward to as often as possible was to grab the paints and exercise those skills on the truly magnificent skyscapes, seascapes and landscapes encountered on the journey. My goals were modest- painting, with a capital P, is not what I do all the time- and I had no desire to go for grand statements. I just wanted to have some fun and play and screw up but try to capture in some small way the glorious light and colors and movement of the elements if possible. It was difficult at times not to think of fellow Drawger and friend, Robert Hunt, and imagine how he'd be blowing my attempts away if he had an easel next to me.
The colors of the ocean and beaches and foliage were of a variety and intensity I've not experienced before. They almost seemed unreal. On many occasions, by comparison, they made the colors of the Carribean, with all due respect to the Atlantic, seem anemic. I could have spent my entire time just trying to come up with the right mixture of paints to replicate what was before me. As it stood, it was obvious to myself that I was failing. But it didn't bum me out, it just made me want to keep trying. Interestingly, I soon abandoned the watercolors preferring instead the plasticity and potential for impastoing that the acrylics afforded.
Since returning home, there's been very little time to scan and prepare something for a posting, what with work and deadlines being what they are. I'm starting slow here and will more than likely keep adding to the posting as time permits. Hopefully I will find a sketchbook or two that seem to have been missplaced since the unppacking and add some relevant material from them as well. Enjoy. It was great fun.
The most consistent frustration, whether moving along on the high seas or sitting stationary in the harbors, was the rapidity with which the landscape and lighting changed. Before a color could be successfully mixed it was rendered irrelevant as opposed to what I was seeing in front of me.