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Friday, July 04, 2014

Three Things to Do Immediately After a Painting Trip

'Emerging from the Mist'                5x7            pastel          ©Karen Margulis
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 An epic adventure needs to be savored. There needs to be a time of reflection and quiet. A time to take a deep breath and let the memories come. Little visual snippets to be enjoyed and processed before the reality of every day life hits.  I always say it would be nice to have a few days after a trip to do nothing but paint, look at pictures and reflect. This time I returned home on a holiday weekend so I do have some free time.

 Sometimes it just isn't possible. Work and responsibilities are calling.  If you are able to spare a day or two after a trip I recommend  that you do three things.

a few of my plein air paintings from my Iceland Adventure

  • Take out the paintings you did on the trip. This sounds silly but all to often once we get back into our daily life the paintings we did get put in a pile and are never appreciated. These paintings no matter how well they turned out are a true piece of the trip. You put your heart and soul into painting them. You braved weather and experienced the scene with all of your senses. They need to be used. I tape my plein air studies on a big piece of foam core so I can see them as a group. Then I will use each one as a study for a larger studio work. DON'T WAIT to look at these paintings. Take them out right away. Plan to use them!

Ready to put photos in an album

  • Do something with the photos you took. One of the first things I do when I get home from a trip is download my photos and back them up. I also don't ever delete them off the card. I want at least three backups of my photos and I don't want to wait. I don't want to risk misplacing the card!   Next, do something with the photos. Print some out to use for painting references. Make a slideshow on your computer or tablet or YouTube. My Iceland trip deserved an extra step. A real photo album! Remember those?  I used a coupon and uploaded 200 photos to Walgreens and picked up my photos an hour later (I needed to go out for groceries anyway)  Nothing like almost instant gratification. I even lucked out and found a perfect photo album at the thrift store...brand new and sealed!  Tonight I will fill the album and share my trip with family over the weekend.
  • Unpack your Suitcase and do a load of Laundry. You will feel productive and it really does need to be done. I unpacked all non clothing items and put them on a table so I can sort and put away at my leisure. It was more fun to look at my paintings and photos than unpack so I compromised! 
Coming Next Week!
If you follow me on Facebook then you might have read that I was delayed on my flight home due to the hurricane. So I was traveling for 23 hours yesterday. It was actually a bonus in disguise for me. I spent many of those hours writing about my trip in my journal and I now have a 12 part written review of my Iceland Adventure. I will post them starting Monday along with paintings and photos....please be sure to come back for Iceland: Through an Artist's Eyes


Maggie Latham said...

This is an inspiring post. The skies and colours in your studies are just wonderful. Looking forward to reading your thoughts and notes about your painting adventure.

Carole Scureman said...

Can't wait to see your Iceland paintings and your report. You are amazing.

Karen said...

Thank you Maggie and Carole! I am looking forward to sharing more!!

robertsloan2art said...

Oh this is awesome! Good suggestions for what to do right after a trip. All of them make total sense to me. Even the laundry. Odds are when I went on a trip what I brought with were my favorite clothes anyway and slobbing off on laundry meant going down to the stuff that didn't fit or look as well.

You've brought back the memory of some pleasant trips I've had in the past. Most of them I was moving, but a few I wasn't. Only difference is that I didn't have a camera for nearly all of them, what I have is my memory and now I can draw and paint better than I could at the time.

So it's a bit strange but I do find my older sketchbooks sometimes have images from those trips. Everything from the first few travel paintings that came out well, to the starts of them that never got finished and now I don't remember where that was. Just a tree branch not the scene.

This is why the photos are so important. They make a huge difference. Very cool you had a batch of them developed and created a photo album. That rocks. How much was it?

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear, mechanic strikes on the way to Iceland, and hurricanes on the way home. Congrats on using the time to write down your thoughts, though. And thanks for this great advice, I still haven't looked at my photos or my paintings, but I'll go do that now. Can't wait for tomorrow's post! :) Riley

Susan J Wachob said...

What you did when a possible "annoyance " occurs? You used it to your benefit! That speaks volumes to your adaptability :-) score for us, you are a little ahead of the game so now we can all enjoy the wise use of your time in future Icelandic posts!
Thank you Karen for your professionalism as a mentor. I do see books ahead in your future, yeah for all pastel artists, young and older. Just glad you are home safe and you have secured the " goods " x's 3.