5 Ways to Enhance your Vacation with Art

This is what I know: SUMMER VACATION!!! 
A break from work, worries and chores. Freedom. Fun. Relaxation. Swimming! Kayaking!  Bananagrams!
Time to explore new places, be with loved ones, play, learn new stuff, notice, and just be.

Incorporating art along the way exponentially expands and deepens our new experiences. It helps us be in the moment, and gives us a way to record and remember. Going to see art can help us understand a place we’re visiting in a new way.

There are so many ways to add art to your precious time away. Here are 5…

 

5 Ways to Enhance  your Vacation with Art:

 

1. Bring your travel art kit. This is pretty much the main thing you need to pack for vacation.

Your travel art kit can have any assortment of supplies you like. I like it small and light so that I can take it hiking. Sometimes I pack a sketchbook and Prismacolor colored pencils – unless I’m going on a boat. Then I have to take my watercolors, cause you can dip your brush into the water from the boat. 🙂

Tiny sketchbook, watercolors, reservoir brush, micron pen. Good to go!

Tiny sketchbook, watercolors, reservoir brush, micron pen. Good to go!

A larger sketchbook is nice to pack also. If I’ve got space I bring an assortment of pens, watercolors and a few sketchbooks. But truly, a tiny sketchbook and a pen can make you pretty darn ecstatic.
Little ditty from a creek in Australia

Little ditty from a creek in Australia

Wherever you go, bring your art kit. You can just keep a micro sketchbook and a pen in your pocket. Pull it out and write about how you feel to be in this place – writing is a valuable way to get in touch with that quiet creative voice within. Draw what you see – or how you feel. It will be the best use of your time, I promise. Even if it’s just two or three minutes – it just feels good to put pen to paper. Always.

Of course you can go bigger than a little art kit – you can bring an easel, canvas and acrylics:
Plein air painting, Chincoteague Island

Plein air painting, Chincoteague Island

2. Drop into an art store. Actually, drop into every art store you come across. I was recently in a little art store in Cincinnati and found some left-handed scissors for a left-handed art friend of mine. They’re special cause they’re from away. Art stores are like candy stores, only much healthier. Sometimes you find something you’ve never seen before. And art stores always smell so good!

3. Pass a sketchbook around. So it goes like this: you pull out a sketchbook and start drawing some lines and maybe color. When you’re ready, you pass it along to the next person, and they continue drawing in their own way.  Round and round she goes for fun group collaboration.  Nice way to pass car time.

4. Go see art! Visit the local art scene. Gallery nights are a fun way to see the latest local art. They’re often open at night on the first Thursday or Friday of the month. Its a nice, inexpensive way to be out and get to know the city scene and it’s art. You might not like everything you see but it’s all grist for the creativity mill. Nothing is wasted.

An art museum or an outdoor sculpture garden always makes me happy. A couple of weeks ago I got to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sidney, Australia. The art there deepened my understanding of the Aboriginal experiences, through their own words and images. A true highlight of my trip.

This still is from a huge animated artwork by Joan Ross at the MCA in Sidney. I was mesmerized as it took me through transitions in Australia’s history, as seen through Ross’ lens. Art at its most informative. Fabulous piece.

Joan Ross, The Claiming of Things 2012

Joan Ross, The Claiming of Things 2012

5. Make a collage of your trip. All you need is a sketchbook to collage in and a glue stick. Just collect maps, placemats, hiking guides, photos, whatever will be a reminder of your trip. Glue it into your sketchbook and write and draw in it too. It’s a great remembrance and helps to keep us in the moment.

My family did this one some years back. Awww...

My family did this one some years back. Awww…

And, speaking of photos, try taking them with your artist eyes. Look at the screen as though it’s a little painting and notice carefully how the scene fits into the confines of the viewfinder. Consider which way to turn the camera – horizontal? Vertical? Would your subject fit better in a square format? Rectangular? Compose your photo like you would a painting.

Are you getting away this summer? What art supplies will you bring? I hope you’ll share with us what you do and see. Show us a photo! It’s a great big, fascinating world. The more we see of it the more we appreciate it, the better we’ll take care of it.

Thanks so much for reading! Here’s a little gift below. Click on the photo to watch a video of Vivid, a beautiful light show I got to see on my vacation in Sidney, Australia.

Wishing you a safe and peaceful summer. Happy trails!

To all you are,
Lauren
 PS! Stay tuned for my new book, Studio Stories, Illuminating Life through Art. Coming in October!
Beautiful Incredible Creativity. Vivid: Sidney, Australia

Beautiful Incredible Creativity. Vivid: Sidney, Australia

Sorry for missing a post or two – I was on vacation!!!

All art/photos copyright Lauren Rader unless otherwise specified. All rights apply.

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