Sunday, October 2, 2022

Painting the Oregon Coast, September 2022

Once in a while, we artists need to get out of our studios and re-ignite our creativity with a bit of carefree adventure. I've written about many the solo trips I've done in the past (like Moab, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley), and why they were so beneficial for me, especially at this chapter of my life (aka mom of small children). But, I don't want these posts to come across as complaints about my life. Nor do I wish to brag about how often I travel. I am surely grateful for my life as a mother, and for the opportunity to do these painting trips whenever I can. I hope more than anything that they inspire my artist friends and followers to do the same. Art is taxing. Art making is the very act of pouring out oneself, and as a result, it is crucial that we refill our tank on a regular basis.  

For me, I discovered in the past that going on solo trips to the desert was what I needed to recharge. I was drawn to the desert because I wanted to be completely alone, in places undefiled by crowds, where I could let my mind wander and where no one needed me, and where I could meditate, paint, and explore the wide open spaces. 

This time was different. Maybe, it signals a shift in my life trajectory--a new chapter, of sorts. I don't know if it's because my kids are a bit older... or if it's because I dealt with a lot of my stuff through the summer with a mental toughness program I took on. Or, maybe it's because I'm learning how to manage my stress better every day, so I can be more open to the world around me without only focusing on one immediate crisis after another. Who knows...

Self reflection aside, the biggest reasons for this trip being different are obvious. First, I went with my twin sister and best friend, Emily Olson, who is an accomplished watercolorist and a professional Youtuber. Second, we went somewhere that was opposite those desert escapes: the Oregon coast. Third, instead of needing the first couple of days to "recover" from my life back home, I found that I had energy enough to paint, explore, and take in that inevitable sensory overload--every day of our trip. 

Emily is the only person I can be with for six days straight and never get tired of. We just completely get each other, and because we were both on a mission to make art, it was easy to go with the flow, while helping and accommodating each other along the way. For example, Emily had centered this entire trip around visiting the Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor and the many state parks that can be found along that stretch of Hwy 101. She had a couple places in particular she wanted to visit, and she had a self portrait in mind that she needed me to shoot the photos for. I was more than happy to oblige (and maybe will do a painting or two from that shoot, myself!). She, in turn, was willing to diverge from our plan a little bit when we realized our hotel was just half an hour from one of the redwoods state parks in northern California. Um... yes, please! 

This time... I was drawn to the woods and the water. The atmosphere created by the ocean surf was nothing short of magical. The sound of the waves became like a familiar friend, and provided an unceasing soundtrack for our journey up the coast. 

I came back with 8...well, more like 7 1/2 (long story...) paintings. I felt accomplished, rejuvenated, and excited for all the new studio paintings I will start, that this trip inspired.    

You can view more pictures and videos of this epic adventure on my Instagram page, @annarose_artist

Emily made a fantastic video highlighting her watercolor painting experience on this trip. I highly recommend you watch it, and subscribe to her channel! Meanwhile, I will have a full length instructional video of one of my coastal paintings coming very soon, so be watching for that. It's going to be FREE on my YouTube channel, so please subscribe to mine too, please! :-)

And let us know where you think our next epic twin trip should be... we are taking suggestions for next year. ;-) 


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