Sunday, January 22, 2017

On the Way: Painting the Camino de Santiago

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On the Way: Painting the Camino de Santiago

At this time last year, I was totally focused on being a pilgrim.  My husband and I were preparing for a two-week, 150 mile pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago with some dear friends and I had begun to realize that our true pilgrimage actually began long before the first step would be taken. 
To prepare for the Camino, I researched, purchased, and returned more "hiking" items than I care to remember.  Why is it so hard to keep things simple??  We joined the local "American Pilgrims on the Camino" (APOC) group and attended many meetings as well as hiking adventures (which is how I learned that my backpack was definitely not going to work for me).  And, most importantly, I read and reread several deeply inspiring books on the spiritual side of being a pilgrim.  I love being a pilgrim. 
And now I get to relive our adventure as an artist!  As I prepare for my next solo show, "On the Way: Painting the Camino de Santiago", I will be walking our pilgrimage one brushstroke at a time.  This journey begins with small studies (before I pull out the bigger canvases) and the very first memory relived is this incredible view, from our very first day, hiking up the Pyrenees from St. Jean Pied de Port to Orisson:
One of the things that I love about the reference photo is the way the lines of trees move the eye in a lively zigzag fashion throughout the scene.  As I began my painting, I focused on capturing that movement before getting caught up in any details.  At this point it looks like our Camino was in winter snow :)
Ta Da, now it's summer!  This small study (titled "On the Way", of course!) will be used to create a larger piece for my show.
Here's the reference photo again so that you can see the artistic liberties I took:

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