Monday, May 26, 2008

Channel Islands Adventure

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
I joined the Illustrated watercolor journaling Channel Islands Adventure this year for the first time. I drove down with another participant/assistant instructor, Kirsten. It was great to have a person in the car and we really bonded on the drive down. I am pretty outgoing but it felt great to have a friend before boarding the boat.
The boat was an 88 foot dive boat, the Vision, and there were 35 passengers, 6 crew and 1 naturalist. The itinerary gets set by the weather to some extent so we went onto two islands and spent a relatively short time on Anacapa. We spent an afternoon on Santa Cruz island. So all the paintings from Anacapa were drawn on the islands in a very short amount of time and painted on board. On Santa Cruz we hiked out to Potato Harbor overlook and painted pleine air, as well as doing several quick sketches. I just post a picture here of some of the things we saw on Anacapa and several other paintings are posted on Flikr.
Life was really getting to me before leaving and it was great to get away. The food was great and the crew was wonderful. Accommodating and cheerful and the energy on board was very positive. There was a mix of experienced watercolorist, people who dabble, like myself, and complete novices. Everyone just got along and was friendly and supportive of everyones efforts in painting. It was wonderful to be able to focus so completely on painting for a few days. We did not have to put the stuff away except to eat and then it all came right back out. We slept in bunks so there was not even a reason to go down there except to sleep. The rest of the time I was either painting inside or out, or on the islands.
I think the fact that we were on the boat really helped make this such a painterly experience, since there was nothing else to do, everyone else was doing it and there was no place else to go. It helps to practice intensely for a few days and I felt my skills improve. As one of my fellow students pointed out late one night "It is not easy to do something that is not easy to do". Really, this quote made sense that the time as well as getting us laughing.
The crew dove down and got us some interesting sea creatures to paint one afternoon and the captain made several detours to show us different views of the islands, like the Anacapa arch.
On the channel crossing on the way home we had 10 ft waves and quite a few people were not feeling well. I had decided to take dramamine since I had no idea if I would get sick or not. I did not.

1 comment:

caseytoussaint said...

Looks like you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pages with us.