Vacation

Greetings from Madrid

The first days were rainy but then it was beautiful perfect weather. Lots to do, see and sketch here. 

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Illness, Inktober and some rambling

Wednesday blogging turns into Thursday blogging. I have a sinus cold and possibly an infection right before a family holiday. I am resting as much as possible so I can be at my best in Spain. The kids are already home from school and that is actually a blessing because the two mile walk picking them up from school every day was not helping me recover quickly! I miss having energy and a clear head but I am managing to just barely keep up with #inktober and other smaller projects this week. I am glad that I decided to be flexible and not stick with any theme or format for this years Inktober as it has allowed me to keep going and not give up when I am not feeling my best. The motto that I need to pin on my wall and remember is that done is better than perfect. It is so easy for me to get sidetracked searching for perfection that I never finish or never share a project, blog post, artwork or whatever. Is this a common problem? I am all ears for any good strategies for avoiding the perfection trap?

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Greetings from Lisbon: a Giveaway

Over on Instagram I am hosting a contest to win a postcard that I sketched in Lisbon. Comment here with a place you would love to visit for a chance to win and head over to Instagram for a second chance to win. I will pick a winner June 8th. 

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Urban Sketching in London

One of my favorite times of the month is when I get to spend the day in London sketching with the Urban Sketching/ USK gang there. It's so worth the journey from Oxford.  I am looking forward to returning in June and July!

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Winding Down in Athens, Greece

My Midori Traveler's Notebook has traveled all over Europe with me this past year and Greece for our first trip in 2016 it has been by my side even more. Feeling very inspired and filled with energy to create here in the sunshine  

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Athens Sketches and a giveaway

Head over to my Instagram for another original art postcard giveaway. Details on how to enter can be found there. I am in Athens Greece with my paint kit always by my side! I've been sketching my way though this city and my family has been super tolerant of me slowing them down or disappearing for periods of time as a result. An artist must create, especially in a place like this.  

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Spring Break!

It is term break here in the UK and my kids are home from school for two weeks. We enjoyed having their father around and abundant sunshine on Friday and going into London over the long weekend. Today he wS back to work and I took us to the local Oxford University Botanic Garden and the three of us sketched there for hours. So far so great with my creative nature loving kids. They never even asked to turn the TV on.  

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hilsener fra København (greetings from Copenhagen)

I'm in Copenhagen with my family for a few days and loving it during the Christmas season. Yesterday was Tivoli which was all decked out in lights and today was filled with exploring and sketching. Fun trip!  

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Traveling with my family! Our fifth new country visited in 2015.

Last week I visited Berlin with my family. After wasting my twenties not traveling and not being able to travel during much of my thirties due to babies we are using this move to the UK as an opportunity to travel all over Europe whenever we have a chance. So far that has meant trips to Paris, Rome, Barcelona and just recently Berlin. It's been great to see so much and share it with the people that matter the most. I am also so glad that I got into obsessive sketching and travel journaling before starting these trips because now I have the ability and desire to document these trips in the way that I enjoy. Years ago I tried a family blog but that just wasn't for me. And taking photos is somewhat fun but for me the fun ends when it comes to printing out the photos. Sketchbook keeping is perfect for me since everything is automatically in a book! 

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How to have a successful family holiday.

Single people or people traveling without young children enjoy your much easier to plan with fewer limitations holiday! 

Don't overschedule yourself on holiday. Think relaxation over sightseeing. And if there is some monument or museum that you just have to bring your kid(s) to, avoid an early ticket.  

Go out on your own to see the sights that you are most interested in and let your partner do the same.  

Get a place with a pool. This makes downtime so much easier and more effective.  

Don't stay out all day sightseeing. Come back to rest midday or early evening if you got a late start out.

Memories over photos. Really look with your family rather than taking constant selfies.  

Draw and journal your trip as you go and finish it up at home with collected ephemera like handouts and tickets. 

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Sketching in Barcelona

I felt better prepared for this trip both mentally and with what I packed. The time with family, tourism, activity and relaxation all just seem to flow with the chance to make art woven throughout it all. It's pretty great.  

 Family outing to the beach included time to sketch.  

Family outing to the beach included time to sketch.  

 Relaxing on the patio left time to sketch.  

Relaxing on the patio left time to sketch.  

London Sketchcrawl with the Urban Sketchers

So glad that I made it over to London via the x90 bus to sketch Trafalgar Square with the USK London group. Summer has meant less time for art and significantly less urban sketching time and the hours spent drawing was just what I needed halfway through school vacation.  

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Something changed. Why there is no such thing as a bad sketch. Only learning.

Sketching in Rome was some of the hardest on site sketching I have done. Harder than Oxford, harder than Notre Dame. Headache inducing difficult sketching in the heat while putting a lot of pressure on myself to do a good job and "make the most of the experience". At the time I did not feel that I made the most of the experience in Rome since I didn't love a single drawing that I produced. Then we went home and I started going out more on non-rainy days and really focusing on getting buildings to look believable and confident in my sketches. And it's working. It's getting easier. I learned a lot from my "bad" sketches in Rome and am so grateful for the opportunity to make them. Relax.  

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My Roman (sketching) Holiday

So much to take in here in Rome. The first time I saw the masses of ancient ruins with the Colosseum in the distance I was awestruck. In Rome stray cats have ruins to climb and lounge around on. 

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London mini-holiday

Became more mini when a three day two night overnight in the big city became one uncomfortable overnight in a bad AirBnB rental. At least I got some sketching and cafe visits out of the trip!

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Alone

Finding myself already counting down to our next vacation. On vacation in new countries I don't expect to know anybody and don't have the chance to feel bad. Here in England when I go out and am around people it is the worst because at home I know people back home through online. But out there I know nobody. Feeling alone in a crowd feels like a horrible party every time I go out of the house. It rarely bothers me I'm so busy and preoccupied with making art and growing my skills and business, but when it does ouch! Summer might me difficult for me. 

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My name is Marissa and I am a creative challenge addict.

A new challenge for 100 days? On top of my 365 creativity challenge but with a narrower focus. And the 30 days of blogging. Sure, why not? But only if I can roll it into my main challenge.  

Brainstorming:

1) self portraits - 100 of them in a row, ouch! Not medium specific. Challenging to keep it interesting and not get terribly sick of myself. 

2) drawing - probably too broad of a theme 

3) painting - same problem as above

4) daily floral - another good option. Good chance to practice florals.   

5) daily portrait - like #1 but with more flexibility. 

 I think I am going to go with the self-portrait theme or floral but I will think about it overnight.  

I think I am going to go with the self-portrait theme or floral but I will think about it overnight.  

Welcome Home

Next time I go to Paris I'm taking the train! Rookie mistake. Trying to save a couple of bucks was not worth the hassle of airports and customs. Just glad to be back and with a fridge full of fresh food and the endless laundry we brought back with us started. 

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Art Tourism

Not just the fabulous museums and galleries in Paris but the legendary art supply stores as well. Sennelier across from the Louvre has been in business since 1887 and is where Degas, Picasso and other famous Parisian artists got their supplies. The shop even developed oil pastels for Picasso! Now I have a few small goodies to take back to England with me.  

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