This wasn’t a vacation, it wasn’t a work trip, and it wasn’t a family vacation. It was a different thing altogether. This year I’ve put a lot of thought into where my work comes from and why I paint what I paint, so when we arrived, I was super-aware of how I was experiencing this place, but also trying to ease into it since we were going to be there for so long. I was also overwhelmed with the sketching possibilities. Everywhere I looked there were interesting landscapes, cool rocks, new-to-me plants, and BOATS!
So I kind of surprised myself when, instead of easing into it by sketching coffee cups or everyday items around the house, I went ahead and sketched the big hill that loomed over us across the body of water outside of our house.
When I went to New Zealand earlier this year (I know – isn’t it funny that we went to New Zealand and Newfoundland in the same year?), I had this one big grounding experience that helped me know what to do with myself while I was there. I still made crappy sketches, but that’s all part of the process.
In St. John’s, over the four weeks, I had this as a series of experiences – walking and suddenly it was like the landscape would come into focus and I could really see and know the differences in the plants and the sounds and the light and air around me. And being three-fourths through a hike and feeling a connection to the earth I was walking on as all distractions fell away. And landing on my sweet spot of sketching materials a week and a half into the trip.
I ended up sketching the hill a lot. These three are out of a total of nine, and are just from the first week. I can still see the hill when I close my eyes.
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