I can’t wait to tell you all about my marvelous trip to Cali, Columbia. Most people when they come home from a vacation, they need another vacation, just to relax. I have an unusual way of resting while I’m on vacation—I paint. But I don’t paint the scenic sites of the place I am vacationing, I take photos. I don’t want the pressure of deciding what to paint or trying to find an open air spot. I just select a group of photos that will lend themselves to a little 5 x 7 painting. So while I was enjoying the sites of Cali, I took time to paint a little scene of Wyoming. My thanks to Edrie Scisciani for a group of her photos, which I used to create this painting. 

First, however, I want to explain my pastel travel set up. Often when I go on a trip, I like to take a selection of pastels and a portable easel with me. Usually, this gives plenty of heartburn to the airport security people: they are nice, but curious and they always have to inspect my carry-on bag. Here’s what it looks like when it is all set up and ready for painting. It’s always a treat for my host and hostess to watch a painting evolve too!

Here is my first block in sketch, in which I am using some water soluble crayons. As you can see, it’s pretty basic.

Here, I’ve started to wet some of the crayon, you can see it in the dark blues.

The painting has now been wet and has a bit more definition.

The first couple of layers of pastel are on this and now I’m starting to develop my vision for the painting.

I completed 95% of it in Cali and just put some finishing touches on it here in Florida. But I can still see myself relaxing with the little easel on my lap next to Nancy and John’s window, with the sun streaming in, in Cali, talking and painting. Here is the final painting. My plans are to double frame it, like Hope in the Desert.

© Laura Gabel, “Wyoming”. 5x7 framed to 13x16, mixed media. $250. Purchase Here
© Laura Gabel, “Wyoming”. 5×7 framed to 13×16, mixed media. $250. Purchase Here

So, do you need a vacation from your vacation? Perhaps, you need to develop a way to relax on your next trip.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” —Thomas Merton.


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