Traveling Artist with Lisa Kowieski
Lisa Kowieski – Traveling Artist
LUKAS 150th Anniversary Watercolor Wood Box Set of 70 Half Pans
Mimik Kolinsky Synthetic Watercolor Brushes
Arches 140 lb. Cold Press 20 Sheet Block 9×12″
Staedtler Technical Pencils
Strathmore Mixed Media Sketchbook 5.5×8.5”
Last summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime to go on a two week trip to British Columbia, Banff National Park, and the west coast of the U.S. For most of the journey, I traveled with the film making crew The Outbound Life and we worked on several content projects along the way.
I’ve never experienced more inspiration in such a short amount of time than I did while on that trip. Each day was a brand new adventure, filled with one breathtaking view after the next. The whole trip was invigorating from a creative standpoint. I really felt like I was living in a dream.
For each new place I traveled to, I tried to at least do one sketch. I needed to capture the moment and memory that was in front of me. When more time would allow, I would be able to break out my watercolors and start a painting. I even worked on a painting of Emerald Lake during a 6 hour flight delay at Denver International Airport.
I think art is the best way to document and journal your travels. I love photography, but it seems like a photo can’t quite capture a scenery with the same emotional connection a drawing or painting can. Studying the mountain ridges and the trees causes you to sit down for a while and really take in the beauty around you. It forces you to connect with your subject matter on a personal level. Being able to have these quiet moments to sit and draw and paint the landscape surrounding me made this trip even that much richer.
Coming back home to Chicago, I wanted to share what I learned with others by teaching people how to find beauty in nature and paint en plein air. I began teaching Watercolor and Drawing classes at Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago: a dreamy botanical garden in the middle of a concrete jungle. I was so excited to teach new artists how to really “see” what was in front of them and focus on the moment and not be halted by all of the distractions of our busy lives.
To see adults hesitantly pick up paint brushes for the first time on week one and then confidently lay down paint strokes by week three was exhilarating to watch. With each class member, I was able to talk about the importance of slowing down and connecting with what was right in front of you. Watercolor painting en plein air forces you to sit still and study your subject while patiently interpreting it through ones own brush strokes and colors.
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