The first days were rainy but then it was beautiful perfect weather. Lots to do, see and sketch here.
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
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.
This portrait of my youngest daughter has a rather serious expression and twee hipster feel. Just like the real life girl I know so well. Going to start on one of her older sister next. It should be very different.
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.
Monday was filled with energy and inspiration. I started the day with a run and later took a sketching hike and caught up on Sketchbook Skool. Big plans for more running, hiking and studio time on Tuesday. Then Charlotte woke up with a fever and started throwing up. I'm still sketching and stretching though, just had to trade messy dip pens for brush pens and large loose sheets of paper for sketchbooks. All this sketching helps me get through watching Dora (the Explorer) with her all day long.
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.
365 days of creativity for 2015, a month of daily blogging for March and April and 100 days of flowers on Instagram. It was only a matter of time before I missed a day of something. That would be blogging yesterday! Oops! Flat out forgot about it with everything going on and I am not going to waste my time feeling bad about it or using it as an excuse to quit. Instead I will think about sunshine filled playgrounds, spending time with my kids during the last day of spring vacation, scooters, butterflies, sketchbooks and drawing workshops. Mistakes happen.
I am a bit of a collector and a tinkerer. My collection of watercolor palettes has led me to some tinkering. Yesterday after scrambling to grab my painting supplies so I could paint in the dining room with my kids I decided to hack up a neglected palette into something more workable for that task. First I removed the rather heavy metal insert that holds the pans of paint inside and instead used blue tac to place 22 half pans in my favorite most versatile colors inside. That left room for a couple of brushes, a water brush and a pencil. Put one of my wrist cuffs sock rags at the bottom and the brush tips are protected. Kit complete? Not until I removed the mostly annoying flap from the bottom.
Meet my new and improved palette! I love it!
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.
It's exhausting but exhilarating and oh so much fun. Each day is different and better and I end each day exhausted and happy. Love Paris!
Mona Lisa. People fight to see you and elbow children and the elderly to get a selfie with you. An alarm goes off around you when people get just too close every five to fifteen minutes. Basically you seem to bring out the worst in people. I can see from that famous smirk of yours how amusing this is to you. But personally I would rather hang with one of your more calming relations and avoid getting elbowed. Nothing personal but I feel a little claustrophobic around you Mona.
Next time we are going to take the train to Paris! But it was a pretty uneventful flight and just long enough to start and finish a sketch.
Everyday I get a little more comfortable and everyday I spend a little more time with my creativity. These past two weeks have been very hard and very densely filled with moving out, temporary housing, a red eye transatlantic flight with children, more temporary housing, jet lag, new school, new job, cultural adjustment and then finally illness. All in just a two week time span! Today as the sick haze lifts and life is beginning to feel normal again I am rediscovering myself and what drives me forward. A new and improved self that isn't frustrated and longing change like I had been back home. After so many years Boston had become my home and I loved it. But I was also struggling and had wanted to make a big change for years. Well, here is my big change and I am appreciating it. Doesn't make it less hard at times and doesn't make me miss our friends any less, but I can't think of a better place for me to grow as an artist at this point in my life. We still don't move into our apartment until mid to late February but we are expecting our air shipment to be delivered today and it has some extra art supplies for me on it as well as toys for the children. What wonderful timing!
A week ago we were winding things down in Boston, now we are getting settled in Oxford. Jet lag was rough and I am only now feeling mostly recovered and sleeping properly. Missing my art studio, especially a couple of bottled inks for fountain pens and dipping. But mostly the dining table in the temporary apartment is working well. Spent my first day exploring by myself and was frankly too awestruck by the amazing buildings to sketch them. But soon. Very soon. Right now I am busy taking it all in.
Will sadly not have an outdoor space to draw and paint in while I sip my afternoon tea. But it will be significantly larger than my last well loved space and I will learn from the mistakes I made setting up space the last two times when I set it up for creativity.
After nearly twelve happy years in Boston mLee art has to Oxford UK with her family and couldn't be more thrilled. Sad to be leaving behind so many connections and friends in Boston. Boston has been a good home and a great place for our children and my art but excited for this adventure and the many adventures to follow.
My current art space my be small but it contains my essentials and is accessible. As I start to get used to my new time zone I will spend more and more time with the contents of this drawer. Doing so should help me cope with the loss of my community and general homesickness as we all adjust to our new lives over here. When is it going to start feeling real?
Lately I have been too preoccupied to clean up at the end of each creative session. They blend into each other and there is a mess growing in my art studio. The art studio that is getting packed up and moved across the ocean next week. A little mess is okay with me as long as I keep creating. So far 2015 is off to a great start. I am excited about where my art is going to take me.
Each child has multiple teachers. How can I make a meaningful gift for so many when time and money is limited? Of course gift cards to our favorite local bakery and handmade watercolor art cards. Boston we are going to miss you so much.
On vacation. Visiting my grandmother and aunt and uncle. Always drawing. On the plane heading home via Chicago planning out a card that I hope to finish at home this week!