What a treat to have two weeks painting in Cornwall and The Cotswolds. Beautiful little villages, quaint stone buildings, historic old fishing ports and, amazingly, fantastic weather!
Just outside Tucson, Arizona, is the Sonoran Desert. Tanque Verde Ranch is situated in the desert and joins the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The ranch was our venue for an enjoyable 5 day painting workshop organised by MISA.
Tanque Verde Ranch was a large cattle property in the early days, but now runs around 200 horses for visitors to explore the many desert riding trails.
One of the great pleasures of traveling is documenting the things we encounter. Not only do we accumulate a collection of paintings and sketches that become lasting memories of where we have been and what we have seen, but we also tend to observe much more by stopping and painting.
Check out the Article – 10 Tips I have found useful when traveling and painting.
If you have any helpful travel tips for painting, add them below in the comments.
There is nothing like the chaos of Hanoi to jolt a visitor into the strangely functional confusion of Vietnam. We had a couple of days in Hanoi to adjust to the pace of Vietnam before heading north to the mountain village of Sapa.
A low pressure system off the coast made the weather less than perfect, but we managed to find sheltered painting locations and were lucky to have a fine day to walk through the Hmong Valley and do some sketching.
From Sapa we travelled by coach back to Hanoi then flew on to Da Nang where we were taken by bus to Hoi An and the luxury of the Anantara Hotel.
Rice Paddys near Hanoi
Hanoi Back Street
Electrical repair workshop – Hanoi
Hanoi Flower Vendor
How many flowers can you pack on to a motor scooter?
Portable kitchen – Hanoi
Party Time – Hanoi street bar
Midnight peak hour – Hanoi
Coke and Hot dogs – Hanoi
Unidentified Delicacys – Hanoi
Stainless steel tuk tuk
Mother and five chicks – Hanoi
Small police wagon – Hanoi
Hot water, Pumps, Microwave specialist – Hanoi
Dangerous Verandah – Hanoi
Dangerous front yard – Hanoi
Mix your own paint.
Most of the Hanoi motorcycles are pretty mundane, but there are some stand out models.
Rice paddy fire – Hmong Valley
Crazy Dancing Chicken
Black Hmong woman with pedal sewing machine.
Grant sketching in Hmong Valley
Sapa – small buildings replaced by tall skinny ones
Our painting group with Hmong women models – Sapa Markets
Hmong Women sewed busily while we sketched
Water everywhere as we left Sapa.
Rosa hijacks a river boat to get us to the Red Bridge Cooking School
Net Casting – Hoi An
Red Bridge Cooking School – where we all became excellent Vietnamese chefs.
Painting by the river on the verandah of an abandoned building – Hoi An.
A couple of weeks before Winter is the perfect time to be in Central Australia. The days are warm and sunny, the nights are still mild and the chance of rain is close to zero.
We also crossed the Birdsville and Strzelecki tracks that we drove down last year
Flying over the MacDonnall Ranges shows just how ancient and distorted the landscape is in that part of the country.
When we arrived in Alice Springs we met our Bus driver Natalie and her awesome big Mercedes Bush Bus. She was passionate and enthusiastic, showing us all there was to see around Alice Springs, the Western MacDonnalls and Uluru Katajuta.
Our first stop was Glen Helen Lodge. We based ourselves there and visited the gorges of the West MacDonnall Ranges. A great spot with fantastic food and a view from our cabin door to die for.
Late afternoon Glen Helen
Piano with boots
I took a helicopter ride over the Glen Helen Gorge/ Ormiston Pound. These ranges sure are impressive from the air.
Ellery Creek Big hole
Painting at Ormiston Gorge
We were lucky enough to be at Uluru for the annual camel races. The traditional Calcutta is held at the pub the night before race day. Lots of excitement and some hefty prices paid for these racing dromedaries.
…handsome animals though!
The day following the races we spent the morning painting at the camel farm. Some of these animals looked to be suffering severe, post race, hangovers.
Walking through Bruce Munro’s Field of Lights installation was disorienting and fantastic
Shallow water in Lake Amadeus.
After a great week in Cinque Terre we wound our way up over the mountains and on to Lucca to do some painting, then it was off to San Gimignano for the rest of the workshop. We painted in the the old town and also in the hill town of Volterra. We also managed a day trip to Florence to see the city and the Uffizi Gallery. We had good weather most of the time in San Gimignano, which was great for painting. The couple of wet days made the town look amazing with reflections, umbrellas and spectacular skies.
The last day of the workshop we were treated to a typical Tuscan feast – plenty of Beer, Wine and Food and lots of stories of the adventures from the past two weeks.
Certificates were presented…
…and, of course, selfies taken to remember what was a great workshop.
A week in Cinque Terre is a great introduction to an Italian workshop. Great food and wine, beautiful scenery and friendly people. We spent our days moving between the villages painting and sketching. Villa Adriana, where we stayed for the week, provided excellent meals – although Antipasto, Pasta, Main and Dessert were more than most of us could handle!
What I thought was an ideal place to paint in Riomaggiore turned out to be the only place wide enough for delivery vans to turn around, so lots of juggling easels in between washes.
Blue Umbrellas – Vernazza