Sitting in a shady spot sketching in my journal I notice the details; the thickness of the stone walls around a doorway, the small statue of the Virgin Mary carved into a tiny alcove on the side of a wall, and the worn surface of the cobblestones in the street.
I hear conversations in a foreign tongue I do not understand but the tone of the voices sound happy and the people smile as they walk by me. Sometimes they stop and look at my sketch and we communicate in a mashed up version of their language and mine with gestures and smiles thrown in. In some countries, like Portugal, the locals speak English better than I do!
I even notice the odors; the scent of lavender blooming in the field behind me, the scent of garlic as someone prepares lunch, and the salty smell of the sea on the breeze.
I feel sorry for the packs of tourists that rush by snapping photos and selfies with no idea what they are really seeing. Artists like me experience our surroundings and soak it all in. We are not tourists. We are participants.
|Watercolor Journaling on the beach at Alvor, Portugal.|
|And here is my little watercolor sketch of that beach.|
|Paris June 17, 2015 an afternoon hanging in the Marais neighborhood.|
|"Colorful Collioure" France|
|The window above where Van Gogh stood to paint "Cafe Terrace at Night"|
on Place du Forum, Arles France
|Lagos, Portugal the home town of Henry the Navigator 2016|
|"Gaudi Shapes" Barcelona, Spain, 2011|
|Havana is falling down! Cuba, 2014|