We are heading out on our mini vacation that starts in Georgetown. We’ll be here for 5 days then head out on our journey through towns some call “Home”. From Magnetawan to Port Colborne, up the coast to Manitoulin, onwards through Sudbury, Alban and Verner. Our final route will cross Algonquin Park as we head to Kingston. Follow me as I paint and share our journey.
It's give back day. Repairs and re-staining of my sister-in-law's deck in lieu of babysitting our 4 legged babies while we were in PV Mexico! Today we fixed it & washed it. We had coffee and got working by 9:30 am. By noon we felt we had it beat.. we would be drinking beers and having dinner by 5. But then reality kicked in and it's one trip to Home Depot for wood, two trips to Home Depot for more wood. Then the realization that we will need to sand this baby before we can stain it again, creating a third trip out to rent a sander. We worked till we achieved our daily goal. Now it's time for Wine!
Artist Life Tip: All projects, even commissions, take longer than you think & fire ants do bite! Ouch. I've learned that I need to see the light at the end of the "project tunnel" otherwise I can get fustrated! Planning your project and keeping to a timeline is important and can definetly make a project more fun!
Good progress on our deck project today. Renting a deck sander was a good decision. The job was done within an hour. Throughout the day we realized we also forgot our knee pads and a paint scraper. As they say - it's all about the TOOLS. Having the right tools can make a job much easier. It's tough to think of everything that may be needed when working on projects away from home. Nevertheless, we improvised and achieved our daily goal of appyling our first coat of stain. We celebrated with a beer and wings!
Artist Life Tip: I have many tools in my studio and I didn't bring them all with me on my trip. Humm.. Maybe I should have taken a little more time to think about what I would need. Keep a list or pack a bag of what you need to take with you when painting away from home.
What tools do you take with you on your painting get-aways?
Today we completed the second coat of stain. Voila! Done! I’m tired and I need to unwind and remind myself that when you work hard you have to play hard! That is our focus for the next 2 weeks.. Play, play, play.. explore, explore, explore.. laugh and GET re-inspired! plus writing my blog each night ;) To do this you need to get away.. We live at the cottage year round.. some call it paradise.. I agree.. why would you want to leave.. the simple answer - for a change.
Artist Life Tip: Take time away. To grow and get inspired you need to venture out! Plan a trip, take a drive or even a walk down a path you have yet to explore. Stop thinking and look around! it's not just a barn you see as you drive by - it's a barn with cows, beautiful sky, a medow and maybe a few chickens. STOP and take a close look, talk to the cows, take a few pictures. Inspiration is everywhere - in nature, in cities, even in a smile. This is what drives my desire to paint. The more I explore, the more my mind flows with ideas. Try it!
Today we re-organize and got ready for our road trip. After a few days of physical work my body is recovering.
We ended our day with a visit to see our grand nephew. Happy, content and full of curiosity! Love the care-free vibe and energy this little guy has - How do we bottle it?
Artist Life Tip: Be a kid again. Sit on the floor. It may help you see things from a different perspective!
Travel day.. On the road heading to our first destination in Magnetawan. Driving along my mind is racing with things yet to-be done. Geez Louise!! When does the unwind happen so that you can shift to the present & enjoy the moment? Time to create that todo list and let go.
Artist Life Tip: Having trouble getting into the moment or focus on that painting you wanted to finish! Try creating a list of those thoughts racing in your mind or blocking your focus. Then set it aside. It may help you let go & focus on the task at hand!
Artist Life Tip: Don't you remember those days in the studio when you’re in the zone. It’s a beautiful thing! Everything flows and you feel like a master painter. Getting in the zone isn't easy but when you are there you need to make the most of it!
How Does it Feel to be in Flow?
From Csikszentmihalyi himself, during a TED talk in 2004:
Click to find out How Artist Get Into Their Creative Zones
Rolling-rolling-rolling... today we arrived at my sister’s home in Port Colborne. The starting point for our 14 day touring adventure. Along the way we passed meadows and farmer’s fields prompting a question for my hubby - how many colours of green do you see?
The answer was interesting.. dark green, light green, green bay packer green ...haha so funny. In turn, I tried to identify the acrylic greens i paint with... What fun!
Artist Life Tip: Try it.. While driving play a variation of - I spy with my little eye - by identifying the colours you use on your pallet! It may help you see a new colour or shade. 👩🎨
What a great start to our road trip. From Port Colborne to St-Thomas. Ontario is so beautiful! Very happy to be exploring the back roads across Norfolk county. We turned a 2 and a half-hour drive into a 7hr trip. Visiting all the Port towns along the way.
Spent the day at Pinery Provincial Park. It was very windy, I walked the shores & listened to the waves.
I was like “a kid in a candy store” as I picked up sticks and stones to take home with me. my mind was racing with creative ideas for my new found treasures. My hubby’s find was a Corona Beer!
Artist Life Tip: Take a walk down a different path and let your mind wonder. This journey may lead you in a direction that could spark new ideas!
We travelled to Port Elgin. We are seeing more rows and rows of corn - I finally wondered “really.. how tall are they?” Inquiring minds want to know!
After this we started exploring perspective. I know we are on vacation but we sure had fun taking these photos!
Artist Life Tip: Understanding perspective is key to sketching your designs on canvas. Learning doesn't have to happen in a classroom - take the time in a fun way to re-confirm key drawing concepts. Even if it’s on a napkin in a restaurant.. draw boxes and doodle for fun! It can be a great creative outlet.
Click to find out more about Doodling Benefits
We traveled to Tobermory to catch the Chi Ceemaun Ferry to Manitoulin Island. I have to admit, driving on to the Ferry was exciting. This ride on the ferry confirmed I would not do well on a Cruise Ship.
With free time on the Ferry i was able to finally take out my sketch book. It's great to let go and just be in the moment! Off we go to explore Manitoulin for 3 days.
Artist Life Tip: There are so many benefits to sketching once a day. It gives you a way to explore ideas, design new concepts and a way to easily try it over and over again till you love it! On the Ferry I was focusing on clouds and waves - watching them, picturing them then sketching them. Working to understand the shapes and the flow of them. It a learning experience I can take back to My studio.
Try it. Open your mind and sketch away something you have wanted to master. Play freely with your pencil and paper and let yourself learn from the sketches you are making. It can only be beneficial to your next creation!
Today we toured the Central part of Manitoulin. We explored the Bridal Veil Falls, explored Providence Bay Beach & Mutchmor, visited the Perivale Gallery.
We ended our day like all vacation days should with a cold draft at the Split Rail Brewing Co. and a local pizza from Buoy's Eatery and Takeout!
We did it! The Cup and Saucer Hiking Trail. What a great view at the top. A few challenging areas along the way but well worth the trip. The view is expansive and stunning.
Did you know that the island once was the sea bed. The patterns on the rocks show the impact of the waves from many years ago. The hiking path will keep changing over time since the Limestone rock is greatly impacted by nature.
We ended the day with a visit to see an old friend that I have not seen for 17 years! It was a very welcoming pleasure to catch up on life.
Watch my video for my Artist Life Tip.
Today is a travel day. We depart Manitoulin Island via the swing bridge. The change in landscape is striking as we head off the island. The rock cliffs, winding roads and scenery is breathtaking.
We'll be making a quick stop in Sudbury to have coffee with a very good friend then on to Alban to visit with my brother and sister. More Family time!
A beautiful sunset as we depart from another family visit. What a great day with my brother and sister and their significant others!
We laughed, drank wine, ate great food, swam in the French River and had an afternoon boat ride. What more can you ask for.. maybe some great inspirational photos.. well i have those too ..😊
On to Verner to visit my oldest brother and his son & family. What fun we will have on their farm!
Day 16 & 17
What an amazing two days on the farm. I loved spending these two days with my oldest brother. We saw cows, pigs, turkeys & chickens. I learned so much about these animals and what life at Kipling Ridge Farms is like from my nephew and his family. I admire their commitment to their passion of farming.
We helped with the daily chores, explored their beautiful property and gathered outdoors after the chores to enjoy some wine, catchup on life, laugh and enjoy a late night dinner.
Being a farmer requires continuous learning and the ability to wear many hats. You need to know how to build things, fix things, do your accounting, and care for animals while you keep the farm running 24/7. Similar to an artist; we need skills in accounting, social media, marketing, writing and find time to create and paint to build our business.
The farm experience was highly inspriational - I must have taken hundreds of photos. I plan to explore this new subject matter this winter! Keep an eye out for my ‘Farm Animal’ series.
Artist Life Tip: Take time to build your Business Skills -- it’s a MUST to build a sustainable Art business that can enable you to pursue your passion. Financial, marketing and social media skills along with project management know-how are all requirements!
What is you biggest challenges when it comes to running your Art business? What additional skills do you feel you need?
It was sad to leave Verner but we had over 6 hrs of travel today to reach our next destination - Kingston. One hour out of Verner the scenery starts to change - we noticed more rocks, more trees and less farm land.
Our journey takes us along many back roads. Little did we know Calabogie, Perth, Westport & Inverary are such quaint and beautiful towns. The rain did make the driving a challenge but we reminisced of the past few weeks and great memories we have made. Onwards to Kingston and our 4th Airbnb location.
We spent the last two days of our trip in Kingston with our son.
We rented bikes and our son took us down the K&P Trail. A recreational trail that runs along the old Kingston and Pembroke Railway. We cycled the route he takes on his daily biking adventures - a total of 32 km. I saw a frog, a snake and a squirrel along with some beautiful wild flowers. Each made me smile as I focused on the bike path ahead of me. It has been years, many years, since I biked and after a few hours the most challenging part of the adventure was my bike seat! We ended our day with a well-deserved draft and dinner downtown.
We explored many parts of Kingston we had never seen before! Truly a fun city with so many great pubs, restaurants, waterfronts, parks and galleries!
We started our day with a family breakfast. It's great to connect and catchup on life. I then took the opportunity to do some shopping since Michael's had a 50% off sale! I loaded the car with as many canvas panels as I could. I'll have lots of time to paint since we don't have any winter travel plans. We ended our day with a great dinner and a bottle of wine at The Keg.
Volia back home tomorrow to setup the studio and get back to work!
Artist Life Tip: When there is a sale take advantage of it! Load up on paint, canvas panels and brushes. It will pay off in the end.
We are driving home today. Our 21 Days away in August has been inspirational in so many ways. From visiting family, exploring our beautiful Province of Ontario, and nurishing my creative spirit!
Excited to see our doggies and our cat. It will be so great to sleep in our own bed, enjoy the fresh air and see our lake friends! Absence has made our hearts grow fonder and very greatful for the life we have built at home!
Artist Life Tip: If you can’t remember the last time you took a vacation from your art then it's time to seperate yourself from your creative space. We can all use a break and those who do have a better outlook on life and are more motivated to achieve their goals. So what are you planning for your next vacation?
I have had the opportunity to spend 3 months this winter in Puerto Vallarta. The art community here is vibrant and very active with winter getaway artists.
I prepped my masonite boards, lugged my paints and easel to our Airbnb apartment in Old Town where there is a real Mexican vibe. I setup my studio and began my journey with a 3-day course with Donna Dickson, a week of photography and then started painting my heart out. This year, as we further explored the culture, neighborhoods and surrounding areas, I decided to dedicate my focus on a collection I have called “Daily Life in Puerto Vallarta”. I painted non-stop for about 8 weeks, creating what I feel reflects what you would see in and around Puerto Vallarta every day.
Puerto Vallarta has a wonderful balance of restaurants, cafes, and bars all within a small-town community. Cool mornings and evenings are great for power walks along the Malecon. And there are many café locations for coffee lovers. It’s relatively quiet in January, with more hustle and bustle in February and March, and slows down in April as the snowbirds return home.
For art lovers, there is an Art Walk every Wednesday on the South side and every other Friday on the North side of town. The galleries display new work from local artists and a glass of wine is offered at each location. Makes for a fun night of socializing and exploring the neighborhoods. There are many options for art classes at Art VallARTa. They offer ceramics, drawing, painting and cooking classes.
Perfect for trying something new. Last year I really enjoyed their weekly art classes.
The Puerto Vallarta Plein Air Painters Facebook group is very active here and adventurous. They meet weekly in different locations around Puerto Vallarta: a great group of artists to connect and paint with while visiting. It’s so easy to get around to surrounding locations using local buses and taxis. No car needed!
Finally, the weather is beautiful everyday ... So, what more can you ask for? If you are looking for a getaway or a change of scenery in the winter months, I would highly recommend Puerto Vallarta!
Enjoy & Keep on Creating, j