Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Great 40th Anniversary Escapade

Travel is transformative.  So is being married for 40 years to Jack Wickes.  So how does art fit into this?

Jack and I have traveled many journeys together including raising our daughters, dreaming,  scheming and planning for life at the moment and into the future years.  We have supported each other as we pursued our careers and our passions.  In spite of meeting as young adults, we have "grown up" together as we have learned the meaning of sharing, sacrificing and giving when the benefit was for the other.

Travel is a passion for both of us.  We have learned that the most fun and productive trips are the ones we take together.  Jack is armed with his cameras and his "good eye" and endless curiosity and I set forth with my sketchbook in my hand, writing and drawing my impressions, which will then be incorporated into future paintings.   Our interests mesh well and we enjoy sharing (and critiquing) the art we have made.

Over the last month, we traveled from Shanghai to St. Petersburg by bus, plane and the most fun of all, by rail,  "Sketching Life" as we both saw it. Over the next few weeks, I will be writing and posting drawings and paintings (really, illustrations) from my book about what I have seen and experienced. While it's not a minute-to-minute diary, these postings reflect eye-catching moments for me.  Snippets, perhaps.  Impressions.  There are holes, as there were times when we were just moving too fast to get it all in.  Unlike using a camera, I can't click and edit, click and edit or just click, click, click.   I build my own story of where we have been.  Jack will build his story, too, from his photographs.  I think we complement each other.

We travel to transform the general into the personal.  We return home with our memories, with our expectations exceeded, and with a personal impression of places we have only previously known about through books and newspapers.  We have interacted with real people, asked personal questions, sat down to meals in real homes.  We are not the same as when we left.  I invite you to follow along as I untangle memories, both written and visual, from this cloud of what seems like suspended time.

"Waiting-Shanghai Airport" June, 2013, gouache and graphite