While the magazines are urging the masses to get in shape for summer, artists are luckily preoccupied with getting their palettes ready for summer. At least they should be! Don't get trapped in your studio while everyone else enjoys some sun. The outdoors, the fresh breeze, the great light are just as important to your art as it is your body. I know creatives have a tendency to want to stay behind closed doors not bothered, and sometimes unkempt! But consider what a room with a view can do. Consider how much you might fight to have your desk next to a window. Even better, how much you might love a desk with no walls, and a lake view! Lets not overlook the value of parks! Of cute bistros, and coffee shops, bustling with activity, or benches overlooking a great street or skyline. This is urban sketching. This is plein-air painting. This is you outside the entrapment of four walls! Introverts can still find somewhere quiet like the picture above. Me and my studio partner shared this picnic table next to the lake and painted hills, trees, and birds. It was great! It's not my usual subject matter, but that's not the point!
summer palettes ready!
You can always take an impromptu trip to the nearest park, or you can plan ahead! Fill a backpack with materials and snacks and head out. We used the opportunity to have a picnic AND studio time AND to take reference photos. If you don't have travel materials, this may be the reason to get some! I'd recommend:
- Travel size Palette
- Travel brushes, especially Pentel Aquabrush or equivalent
- A sketchbook or journal
- A foldable cup for traveling watercolor
- Water source or used water bottle filled from the tap
- A few paper towels from home, or napkins from the restaurant
- A camera for capturing moments like birds flying or hopping around
- A backpack ready to be filled with all these items
- Optional travel easel
- pillow or blanket for comfort
- Water to stay hydrated
- Snacks to keep you going
I could go on but you get the idea. And to make the outing double as other functions works too, like my picnic. We stopped at McDonalds and ate it in the park, then dragged out our supplies and started working.
Just in case its too windy, or starts raining, the camera comes in handy to take pictures for reference instead. I'm always snapping shots on my phone anyhow. But many times we thought to do this before and got caught in the rain! You don't have to let that stop you!
Note to self, add:
set a date with artists
Perhaps nothing will change your mind about going out than a date with yourself. Use a scheduled date with your artist circle to go out into the world together. Your friends circle will distract you, and focus more on fun than research and study. That's not to say it can't be all of the above! But you should purposely make this a time for art practice. Having other artists around you will encourage the work vibe, and being social will encourage the fun. I'm lucky enough to share my studio and life with an artist! So we're always thinking of ways to take our creativity outside.
We also recently had the pleasure of attending Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie, TX. This could've been a total pleasure trip, but it's not often one gets to interact with a different time period that this fair provides, so it was necessary to take advantage! I took many reference photos of costumes, of architecture, of signage, and all the great products available by other artisans! It's important to always have your artist eye on alert for reference and inspiration. It may make you look like a total tourist, but you'll appreciate the great photos later, I promise! Here are some of mine below!
Don't forget the SPF!
Note to self, add:
- SPF Sunscreen
What else can you think of that's been useful in getting out of your studio? What materials are great for the road?! Share in the comments below, and lets get out!
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About the Artist
I would call myself a Jack of all Trades, but mostly because I'm interested in many areas of art if not all! I graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from the University of North Texas with a focus on Watercolor. I always had dreams of creative writing, and in 5th grade I wasn't too bad! Art clearly won out for my attention, but writing will always have a place in my heart!
What better way to write, I say, than to share a blog, and practice my second love while talking about my first! With that said, I hope you all enjoy my ramblings and please hit me up with any questions. :D Contact me!