Sunday, August 11, 2013

Artist Date by the Sea

My girls celebrating freedom by the sea
A true Julia Cameron-style Artist Date involves going out all by yourself to explore someplace fun, to "fill the well" of images and inspiration, to encourage a kind of grown-up playtime.  When you're a mom to young children, though, you sometimes have to catch your Artist Dates on the fly, according to your own definitions, and quite often with a little company tagging along.
The girls and I at dinner at Landshark
So even though I was not on my own to explore, I definitely consider my brief vacation to Atlantic City with my husband and two daughters an Artist Date.  I soaked in the atmosphere of the seashore, re-entered a playful space by jumping in the waves, and spent time in my sketchbook trying to capture some of the imagery of the place.
My sketchbook version of the view from our hotel balcony
It is so satisfying to take children to the beach.  My four-year-old let her absolutely unabashed excitement show through with every shriek of laughter.  She and I especially loved our beach-combing sessions, picking up treasured shells and pebbles along the shore.  My five-year-old especially enjoys building sand-castles with her daddy.  And everyone enjoyed jumping in the waves as they crashed to shore.  Hauling the girls up and out of the waves definitely gave me my weight-bearing exercise outside of the gym.
I learned something new!  My husband taught me how to make these sand-drip towers, which
 look very cool atop a sandcastle, or just standing on their own.
I have no illusions that my sketches and watercolor efforts are anything but introductory.  But we have to start somewhere with something new, don't we?  I was just pleased to spend some time with my sketchbook, trying to capture my environment and using some of the techniques I learned recently in Jane LaFazio's CREATE workshop.
A selection of images from my Atlantic City vacation
So now, with the new school year right around the corner, my five-year-old entering public school for the first time, and fall just over one month away, I have the wonderful memories and inspirations of the beach to carry with me into my "real life"!
There's nothing like watching my two little girls playing together like best friends!

New Feature!

I recently added a new blog feature:  Click on the "Book List" tab at the top of my blog to find an ongoing list of the books I'm reading this year.  I have been reading far outside of my original goal list, and have stopped worrying about trying to publish a review of each book that I finish.  I am just going to keep a running list to keep tabs on my progress.  If you want to ask about any of the titles you see, feel free to send me an email at


Art and Sand said...

We rented a house in Santa Fe for Christmas a few years ago and I saw a book on the shelf title Floor Sample and began reading it thinking it was a novel. About 20 pages in, I realized it was an autobiography by Julia Cameron. I was fascinated by her life. I didn't buy "The Artist's Way" on that trip and until reading your post, I had forgotten about it.

Thanks to you, I am going to order it today with a Barnes and Nobel gift card I just received.

Anne said...

Absolutely LOVE the first picture -- you should have that one enlarged and framed. Captured the essence of the girls' joy and freedom. Would also like to know how those sand drip towers are made. And photo #5 is a perfect postcard! A fun post! said...

"YIPPEE!" :]
Looks like a wonderful time you had... pure bliss
in an **artist way** of documenting it too!!
photos, sketchbook, and the inspiration... thank you for sharing. ~xx

froebelsternchen said...

beautiful pictures!

Carin Winkelman said...

Looks like a lot of fun was had. Love your sketchbook pages, especially the one with the grid. That last picture of your girls is priceless. And sand drip castles? Who knew? :-)

Tina said...

Love the "Atlantic City" page using the Jane LaFazio technique! I still haven't tried it yet but intend to very soon! Great work!

Patty Antle said...

Your pictures are just priceless, Andria. I was going to say I love the first one especially, but I love them all. Your sketches are so much fun and the sand drip towers I have never seen before are very cool. Glad you had a wonderful trip. I have never been there.

Parabolic Muse said...

Okay, I'm not leaving another comment. You're probably BUSY and can't read yet ANOTHER comment from chris! Stop it!

(nice photos. very sweet)

That's all!! no kidding!

Naomi said...

Good for you for finding an artist date wherever you can. I think having kids along makes it so challenging, but you noticed the artfulness in them anyway. :)

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