I spent 3 days in the beautiful city of New Orleans painting, sketching and soaking up life! The city is so vibrant! There is art and music everywhere. I could not believe the amount of art studios and galleries. Many artists seem to have their own gallery spaces - what a dream. We had perfect weather. We arrived just after a rain so the pavements were wet and reflective. First thing we did was unpack, fill our palettes and head to Cafe du Monde. Its a perfect spot to work. The tables give you a perfect view both into the cafe and down the street. I painted two scenes there. And ate a few beignets. mmmmm... beignets.
V....Vaughan is the best travel buddy. Being able to go somewhere with another artist is amazing. The whole trip was about light and color, inspiration, learning and pushing our abilities.
Just got home late last night from New Orleans. It was a whirlwind trip with V....Vaughan. We got in just before sunset on Monday night and hit the streets with our cameras and sketchbooks. V.... created a couple of lovely sketches of a resident trumpeter. I saw him there and painted him two years ago. I had trouble getting my bearings.
I liken New Orleans to riding a horse with a hard mouth and strong will. It should be a pleasant experience, a thing of beauty, but you end up fighting with it and being frustrated and disappointed.
I had better success on Tuesday when we got up early, had beignets and beverages at the Cafe du Monde (they have the best of the three beignet places we tried btw.) We painted some sketches and listened to another musician serenade the crowds. Next we sat along the river front and sketched the mighty Mississippi river. It is truly an amazing river. So wide, such a strong current... carrying all our gew gaws in from China.
Tons more walking. Walked a quieter section, then along Bourbon, then back to our hotel area and got our car and drove to the Garden District. Unfortunately, the cemetery was closed. I had hoped to sketch the tombs in there. But we found a good view on Magazine street and settled in there. Then back to the business district for dinner at Luke. Luck favored me there... they sat us next to the kitchen! We watched the chefs hard at their craft and ate a good dinner and had a delicious cold beer. Much appreciated after the long day! Walked for dessert and then finally a shower and bed!!
I think we crammed three days of stuff into one. The heat wasn't bad really. The sun was too intense tho if you weren't in the shade working. And I probably should eat more than a beignet and a half for breakfast when setting out on such a day!
I think I found it stressful because every where we turned there were homeless people begging or street performers hawking. We were targets - sympathetic looking - and naive, unfortunately. I'm usually more savvy but these people are good at what they do and would have you roped before you knew what happened then you were "obliged" to "donate".
To be continued tomorrow while I put my feet up today. :-)
I just did one of my most hated chores... packing art to ship. I have 5 big boxes going to 2 galleries on opposite coasts. Why did I think it was a good plan to paint larger? The 48x36 on my easel will have to stay local.
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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