©2017 Joy Makon. Not to be reproduced without permission

The Traveling Artist

Outside of the comfort zone: a morning painting at Fontaine Bruat in Colmar, France.

Here’s the familiar paints and art supplies that fit into the travel bag. Combine them with different places in a jet-lagged time zone; allow the senses to take over and acknowledge that you are not in a location you know. Smile and reply in rough French to the passersby who stop to see what you are doing—this is the pleasure and challenge of plein air painting during your vacation.

©2017 Joy Makon. Not to be reproduced without permission.

You are the viewfinder. Go along with the temptation to look up because the buildings are silhouetted against the sky. Remember to turn around and check the view behind you; there’s always stuff going on and you won’t go back. Always be looking.

I am back home after spending a week traveling with Sol and an inspiring group of artists as part of Denis Ponsot’s workshop in the Alsace region of France. Every day offered a chance to see the colors and light of a beautiful location. The many small villages we visited were truly art directed beyond sweetness—yet there was always a way to find that simple combination of color, light, structure to put in a sketch or a photograph. I look forward to studio paintings from some of the places we visited: Basel, Colmar, Ungersheim, Equisheim, Guebwiller, Kroenigsbourg Castle, Scherwiller, Kayserberg.

Above, I am sprawled out on a park bench near Fontaine Bruat in Parc du Champ de Mars, Colmar. I am painting a scene of one of the four sandstone statues in the fountain created by Fréderic-Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. As with many good things, the weather was changing and it clouded over. We decided to go eat crêpes by the nearby carousel and I found other opportunities to paint and draw in the town.

July 2017
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 14″ x 10″












This entry was published on August 5, 2017 at 4:25 pm. It’s filed under Home, landscape, plein air, Summer, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “The Traveling Artist

  1. Joy, You should fill this out a little and submit it to the New York Times. I wish I had the name of some right editor for it. But it’s such an engaging beginning and idea.

    Anne Mollegen Smith / @mollegen / Brooklyn-artisan.net


  2. Fabulous! Yes, submit this to the New York Times!

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