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Not packing light this time around

daily sketching en plein air life as an artist sketchbook the artist's journey Apr 06, 2024

I just sent the announcement to The Artist's Journey Community and I've decided to share it with those of you who follow this blog so that you, too, are aware of my upcoming travel plans to share live sessions of sketching while exploring Gower Peninsula in Wales, the towns, mountains and hillsides in Wales and England (especially the inspiring town, beaches and rocks of St. Ives), the island of Skiathos in Greece and the landscape / towns of Tuscanny. 

Earthquakes in New Jersey are rare.  I was in my basement studio gathering supplies to bring with me to Wales on Monday.  The only illumination was the light coming through small windows and the headlamp angled down on my worktable.  We had lost power two days earlier after severe winds had blown down trees, taking out wiring and power.  Over half of New Jersey lost power.  I live in a rural community that is low on the list of priorities for restoring power.  When the house began to tremble and rattle I was at first startled ... concerned and confused ... the trembling grew stronger and the sound of the rattling house mixed with an angry growling of what I vaguely perceived as coming from the ground beneath me, it dawned on me that the impossible was happening.  I was experiencing an earthquake directly below me.  As the sounds and shaking persisted, I began to realize that it was quite possible that my house would cave in on me and that I best get out of the basement and out of my house. My emotions were that of being perplexed rather than afraid.  It turned out that the epicenter of the 4.8 earthquake was less than ten miles from my rattling house.

That experience, coupled with a visit to the Joan Jonas exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City inspired a change in packing plans for my three and a half month adventure across the Atlantic.  Most of my time will be spent in Wales, two weeks in Skiathos and two weeks in Tuscanny.  Rather than pack my oil paints, I am packing my cameras as I used to do when teaching in California and hiking the mountains between workshops.  I filmed my wanderings and sketching to share with artists and students so that they could see some of the ways I manage to sketch absolutely everywhere I go.

The technology has changed greatly over and I haven't kept up with the possibilities available to me using a vlogging camera, though I've had one for a couple of years now, inherited from someone who never learned to use it.  Following the recent flood and loss of most of my artwork, I have focused more attention on this complex little camera.

I've decided that I will force myself to get back into the habit of filming as I hike, wander, sketch and talk to myself.  I'll also be testing out the Live meeting room within the meetups area of our community.  As members, you'll receive notices that I'm LIVE and may join the session.  I want to prepare you that this is experimental.  I may or may not be talking with you during the sessions.  The sessions will be recorded and available on the MeetUps page (I think).  As I recall, the resolution isn't that great in the recordings, which is why the Art Book Club/Sketchbook Story Time events are run through Zoom. 

To give you a heads up, my goal during this trip is to more completely connect to the environments I find myself in whether they be urban, rural or remote.  I want to connect to the spirit of the places and to express my experience of those connections.  The results may range from the ultra detailed and realistic to the totally abstract and vague. 

I invite you to join me on this deep dive sketching adventure, guided by my inner artist and my spirit.

I also ask for feedback on your experience of these live sessions.  By the end of my trip, I hope to understand my camera better as well as how best to make use of the LIVE MEETUP ROOM in our community.

 As a reminder for those of you who are not already members of The Artists Journey, you may join and cancel and then rejoin again at any time you wish.  That means that if you want to join just for the time I am traveling, you may do so. This is a small community of artists who wish to nurture curiosity, share ideas, skills and thoughts, as well as grow to be the best artists they can be while being true to the inner artist who guides them well when they are willing to listen.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Chris Carter



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