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Thursday, June 27, 2013

What You Should do After a Workshop or Trip

'Summer Storm Variation'        5x7       pastel      ©Karen Margulis

I arrived home last night after 24 days on the road. It was a fantastic trip! Thank you to all of you who followed along with us through the blog and facebook. It was a pleasure to share our adventure.  But now it is back to reality.  I am running around today catching up, cleaning house and doing errands. I haven't even had the chance to unpack and see my daily paintings and other treasures I found.

It is frustrating.  I want to forget about all of the chores and upload all my photos.  I want to paint some of the impressions I have of the Southwest.....while they are fresh.  I don't want life to get in the way and distract me. The trip was so inspiring that it would be a shame to have to plunge into daily life and leave it all as a sweet memory.

We talked about this dilemma on the trip.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a week or more after a workshop or an inspiring trip to do nothing but paint. Wouldn't it be great to have access to a quiet studio with absolutely no distractions or obligations....so that you could practice what you learned....or paint what you have been thinking about as you traveled?  It would be nice.....but not very realistic for most of us....So here is what I plan to do so that I can make the most of my trip:

  • Use the travel time home to make a plan for your art. Write down painting ideas, things you want to try, supplies you need. Also write down all of the follow up and errands you need to get done. I find that if I get it all out of my head and down on paper I feel less cluttered.
  • Spend the first day or two home and get all of the chores and errands out of the way. Don't be tempted to sit and go through your trip things or worse start going through photos. Use this as the reward for working hard and getting caught up with the household stuff.
  • Get the house cleaned if you can afford it. I can't but as I cleaned house today I thought about how nice it would be to cross this chore off my list. But I know I will paint better if the house and studio are in order. 
  • PHOTOS: if you come home from a trip with thousands of photos like I did be sure to have a plan for them. Download them and back them up.  For this trip I used a new memory card for each leg of the trip rather than one big memory card. This way I wont lose all of my photos should something happen to the card.  I will be creating a folder on my computer for each leg of the trip. I will eventually create photos for various subjects but I don't want to spend too much time organizing photos instead of painting. ( more on this later)
  • Have a collection of photos printed to use for references. I plan to choose 100 photos to have printed to start with. I usually print my own photos but I have so many this time I just want to quickly go through them and choose the first 100 that jump out at me. (I have a coupon for 100 free photos at costco)
 I need to get back to my chores so I can get back into the studio tomorrow. I plan to blog more about my trip and review some of the things that helped make it great so stay tuned or feel free to ask any questions!

Today's painting was chosen for a BLICK's ad in the September Pastel Journal. It is one of my favorite paintings form my 100 variation series. I am excited that Blick's chose my painting for an ad!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip and daily paintings. You really captured the beauty of Red Rock Country as I saw it on a bus tour in 2007. I found your blog late one night while searching for "make your own pochade box", and feel lucky to have followed the entire journey.

Observe Closely said...

I enjoyed all your postings and reports. Thanks a MILLION for taking the tine to do that for us homebodies.

I hope you'll also take a moment to summarize what new techniques you have encorporated from the Bill Creevy workshop. He's one of my pastel idols.


Karen said...

Thank you for following Jan! I will definitely be blogging about the Bill Creevy workshop in the next few weeks!

Karen said...

Thank you for discovering my blog! I'm glad you enjoyed following my trip and I hope you will come back and visit. I post new content every day!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your painting being selected by Blick's! I was unable to find the right size archival box or glassine locally, so I ordered it from them.
I'm glad to hear "real" artists, as yourself, also have to find a way to deal with the housework, laundry, etc. Thanks for the input on getting it done so the paint time can be productive.