This is the archive for the ‘road trips’ Category

Scotland

September 20th, 2019

It was a whirl wind tour of Scotland. Starting in Queesnferry so Bob could finally see one of his favorite bridges, the Forth Bridge, and a bus into Edinburgh to visit Dovecot Studio.

Image of Forth Bridge Image of Dovecot Tapestry Studio
Visit for each of us!

Then Skye—staying in Elgol for a boat trip and small hike to Loch Coruisk in the Cuillin Hills and in Dunvegan with hikes at Quiraing, and Neist Point.

Image of Quiraing Image of Neist Point
Hikes in Skye

After Skye, up the west coast staying at Inverkirkaig—hiked a bit—very windy—and found the most wonderful bookstore/cafe, then across the top to the ferry to Orkney.

Orkney: Ring of Brodgar at dusk, Skara Brae, the sun came out as we bought our tickets, sheep, wool and dye sheds, a tapestry gallery, a scotch distillery, and more wind. I love wind, but this wind could, under certain circumstances, drive one mad. For us, in our short time, it was part of the adventure.

Image of The Ring of Brodgar Image of Skara Brae
5000 year old Neolithic sites.

Ferry back and down the east coast and into Glendevon for a great dinner, another short hike and then the plane from Edinburgh. All I can say is WOW! Around every corner—more beautiful than the last—WOW, food and people—WOW, history, geology—WOW!

Image of Scottish Mountains Image of Heather
Beauty whether you look up or down

We had never been to Scotland and wanted to get an overview, seeing as much as possible in the two weeks we had. Bob did wonderfully driving on a different side of the road and on the many two way but one lane roads—with sheep on them! (There were signs.) He also researched and booked all our accommodations and to a one they were great! Three hotels and the rest B&Bs.

Image of Black Sheep Image of sign for sheep in road
Cattle grids in the roads kept the sheep in their area but not off the roads.
Some were very cheeky and would play “I dare you”…

We didn’t seek out castles but they were everywhere.

Image of Castle
Had to take at least one castle picture!

Didn’t hear a bagpipe but saw several guys in kilts. Stayed away from tourist sites as much as possible. Scotland is a very contemporary country and while I did want to see the Neolithic sites in Orkney I also wanted to experience Scotland today as much as possible in our short time.

Some how as I planned out our trip with post-its of where we would stay and what we wanted to see, I still thought we’d have time to hike every day and sit and sketch, and just feel where we were. Time doesn’t stretch that way so only a couple of quick sketches (one done in the car) and a few rather short hikes, but lots and lots of images and now that I’m home I wake up at 4:30-5:00 and hit the studio—so excited to download my brain into studies and paintings and spin the wool that I bought and just digest.

Maine Painting Retreat

August 19th, 2019

Just came back from a wonderful week long painting retreat with Michael Chesley Johnson in Maine—way Downeast in Lubec Maine and in Campobello Island in Canada. I took a workshop with Michael years ago. It was good to see him again!

Image of Michael Chesley Johnson Image of Painting setup in Maine
Michael Chesley Johnson demo and Quoddy Head State Park

Finally unpacked, wash is done, house reclaimed and grass is cut. Now to think about all that happened. On the way north we spent two days on Monhegan Island with Holly and Stig—one takes the ferry—no cars—lots of hiking—lots and lots of hiking—beautiful forest and coast line—good food and beautiful music by a woman composer (whose name I’m sorry I didn’t get). She practices on the piano in the little church next to our hotel.

Image of Monhegan Island Image of Sea Gull
Monhegan Island—view from hike and a new friend

Then Sunday, back to rt 1 and north. We stayed at West Quoddy Station in a little cabin called “the Camp”. West Quoddy Station is a repurposed life guard station that is now lodging in one of the most beautiful locations in Maine. About a mile from there is the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse and Quoddy Head State Park which pride them selves as being the most eastern point in the US—the sun does rise early! We met Sunday evening with Michael and the other artists for orientation. Our plan was for me to paint as part of the retreat and Bob would go off and photograph—both happy!

Image of West Quoddy Head Lighthouse Image of Camp at West Quoddy Station
Light house and our home away from home!

Michael mainly is a plain air painter as were most of the others but as this was a “retreat” as opposed to a workshop or class we were free to pursue our own directions. People worked in oils, watercolors or pastels. They came from all over the US and Canada. Days began with a sharing/critique of the previous days work and then we all headed to a specified location to paint. Some days Michael demoed and others he painted with us. Quoddy Head State Park, the fishing village of Lubec and Campobello Island all offered a wealth of locations—the weather was perfect—perhaps too perfect—post card days. Afternoons were free to continue painting, visit other locations, hike or just veg and soak up everything. Many peopled worked as long as there was light! On the third day I just sketched and photographed and took it all in.

Image of Quoddy Head State Park
Something around every turn!

I realize that I’m not a plein air painter but rather a painter who enjoys plein air painting as a resource for studio work. It was hot in the sun and working with warm oils was a relatively new experience—didn’t master that this week but I learned a lot. But I did bring back lots to work on and think about during cold winter days in PA.

Image of Quoddy State Park Painting Image of Campebello painting
Two of my quick plein air paintings.

Campobello and Quoddy

September 25th, 2018

After a day of regrouping and lazing about (I did do my little tapestry as well as some nature prints to record our time – can’t slow down in one day… after that we headed out early to Canada and Campobello Island—nice lunch and then walks on the beach, photographing rocks and seaweed.

Image of Campobello shoreline Image of Seaweed Image of rocks
Campobello Island.

The next day we headed to Maine’s Quoddy State Park. We’ve done the light House and really wanted to hike in the forest along the coast again. Much is high above the water, some closer and some through the forest it’s self.

Image of clif view Image of ocean view Image of rocks
Quoddy State Park.

Was glad to have our hiking siticks as there was lots of elevation changes as well as some muddy spots. But every where you looked there was something to enjoy and want to bring home to work with on long winter evenings…

Image of orange rocks Image of mushroom Image of the forest floor
Quoddy State Park.

All good things end and the next day found us 12 hours on the road heading south… not the plan but how it ended up – by the time you hit NJ you want your own bed…

Machiasport ME

September 21st, 2018

After the intense art retreat in VT, I really needed some down time before heading home. We headed for a place we have stayed before in Machiasport, ME—all the way at the end of the peninsula—the road ends in the driveway—high enough to see over the trees to the ocean but with a magical path down to it’s own beach. We stopped in Machias at the Hannaford to buy groceries and made it in time for wine on the deck as the sun set. Let the unwinding begin!

Image of Maine trees and water Image of deck chairs
View from the deck.

The next day was misty and over cast – perfect to laze about in, but we did take a short run back up the road to Jasper Beach.

Image of Jasper Beach in the mist
Jasper Beach.

I always think the ocean gives you gifts, you just have to look and this day was no exception. Bits of seaweed, sticks and feathers, lichen and of course those Jasper Beach stones!

Image of found seaweed and stones on Jasper Beach Image of found seaweed and stones
Jasper Beach closeup and my new treasures.

Back at the house I used the small bit of wood as a tiny loom and wove a tiny tapestry to commemorate our visit.

Image of a tiny tapestry
Jasper Beach Tapestry.

The next few days were sunny and we headed to Campobello in Canada (Important rule – always travel with your passport!) and to Maine’s Quoddy State Park for days of hiking, photographing, and just being! That’s another post…

Sweet Gum Prints

July 23rd, 2018

Spent the afternoon a few weeks ago in the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Didn’t have a lot of time but we walked around, some photography and I collected leaves of Sweetgum Trees. I love their long pointy shapes and when I got home I made this little book of leaf prints.

Image of book with Sweetgum prints

I haven’t made the cover yet but I’m thinking of a series of leaf books from travels this summer. We’ll see…

In the mean time I did make a sketch book from watercolor paper… and did start working in it. Small sketch of hostas in our back garden.

Image of my sketchbook Image of sketchbook

A simple cardboard cover, closed with a rubber band, with accordion pages of Archers Watercolor paper. My plan is for the simple cover to contrast with a plethora of sketches inside. This is a start.

Weaving on the Road…

June 28th, 2018

Off to Virginia to stay with Fletcher and Cooper while their parents were away and I took my Hokett Loom, yarns and design materials. I knew the boys would have their noses in the World Cup and I would have time to indulge in weaving.

Image of a weaving studio in a bag

I pack my weaving supplies in translucent bags that all fit into a larger bag. One for my Hokett with the tray I use it on, one for a selection of yarns and one for little bits of equipment. My design supplies go in a small shoulder bag with watercolors, sketchbooks etc. With these two bags I could set up a little studio space and was set!

Image of my temporary studio Image of when I ran out of black yarn

Got out my sketchbook and watercolors and came up with my design. I’ve been sketching trees and leaves lately so decided on stylized leaves. Next to warp my little loom and prepare my weft yarns. I did bring the little spinner thing that I got from Rebecca Mezoff to un ply my Harrisville yarns. BUT… my design called for black and I forgot that while I needed to un ply the blue and green yarn, I needed to double the black and didn’t bring enough… You can see where I ran out of black yarn in the image above!!! Always something!!!!

Image of finished weaving

I did have more black at home and was able to finish!!! So all is well with one part of my world, at least…