Is it just an excuse, or can I really claim that travel feeds my work? Until I few years ago I didn't get away much, but since 2001 I've been to Spain, England, New Mexico and Costa Rica. In that same time period my work has undergone a major shift, from something identifiable as "landscape" to the much more abstract work I'm doing now. So I think it's obvious!
Travel is like a cup of strong coffee to the creative process. It energizes the mind and opens the eyes wide. It heightens focus on the moment at hand.
This time of year my thoughts often turn to my stay in Spain, three weeks in September of 2001 (including the 11th, but that's another story.)I spent most of that time in the tiny, medieval stone village of Farrera, high in the Pyrenees in Catalonia. My studio there, at the Centre D'Art I Natura
was a room with an open window (as in, no glass) overlooking a small field still cultivated by hand by the village's oldest resident. Overlapping mountain peaks faded into the distance. Days were long, with many hours for studio work, hiking ancient paths and sitting on the little balcony of my apartment writing or drawing. Dinner at 9:00pm. was fabulous, delicious fresh food presented with true artistry. Assorted guests and the delightful couple who run the place, Lluis and Cesca, would converse in rapid Catalan--but I was also included with someone or other translating or engaging me in English. There was a lot of laughter, teasing and good humor. I even learned a few words of Catalan, including "I am full," a very useful phrase. I miss those days, and I intend to go back.
For now--I'm planning a road trip back to New Mexico with my older son. I have some art business to attend to, and old friends and relatives to see. And of course I look forward to the landscape there which is so beautiful.
This photo was taken in February 2004 in Costa Rica.