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en plein air sketchbook the artist's journey travel sketching Feb 27, 2024

My time in Florida is drawing to a close.  It's been an inspiring, productive and delightful trip.  The artists who attended the three-day workshop in Fernandina Beach at the Island Art Association Art Education Center were a pleasure to work with.  They were open to experimentation, both in regards to techniques and to approaches to sketching.  

a quick stop for Cuban Coffee

As wonderful and convenient as online workshops can be, live workshops offer so much more.  The conversations among artists during breaks, lunch and walking from one location to another are priceless gems of sharing ideas, friendship and laughter.  We also learn from a thirty second walk around the classroom to see how the same technique can be executed in so many different ways.

Following the workshop, my dear friend Luisa (the artists who organized the workshop) drove me to her favorite sketching locations on or near Amelia Island. We are well-matched when it comes to willingness to sketch all day, everywhere and anywhere.  I'm not sure if she has worn me out or if i have worn her out.  We are both exhausted and happy. Fortunately, the weather improved after the first several days of the cold and rain I experienced when south of Jacksonville, prior to the workshop.

My goal, upon seeing the Spanish Moss i had fallen in love with at the age of eight when my family spent a month in Natchez Mississippi, was to capture the elegance of this air plant that hangs from every branch of the giant ... really giant ... Live Oaks.  I failed miserably in the beginning.  I finally succeeded a bit in a pencil sketch done in the wild forests on Fort George Island near Kingsley Plantation.

The single strands are far easier for me to draw than the clusters of moss.  I think I will need to travel back to Florida again so that I can keep working at my clusters.

My favorite watercolor sketch from our visit to Fort George Island on the loop to Kingsley Plantation

Thank you for reading my blog.

Chris Carter




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