My Beautiful Storm
My Beautiful Storm art
Superheroes! Photo by Tyson Wintibaugh.

There was a time when I posted daily paintings and drawings right and left here on the blog like there was no tomorrow. Illustration projects and art openings abounded. My painting style rapidly evolved here over the years and the posts reflected my personal artistic journey. Then my artistic output gave way to my immense wanderlust. I started an online travel and culture magazine and I did something crazy—I quit my day job, donated most of my possessions and embarked on an around the world journey with my husband across 6 continents and over 50 countries. It was both one of the most challenging and most liberating experiences of my life—hands down one of the best things I’ve ever done.

My Beautiful Storm art
Volcanic wanderings on Vulcano, in the Aeolian Islands in Sicily, Italy.
My Beautiful Storm art
Mana island, Fiji.
My Beautiful Storm art
Dubrovnik, Croatia.
My Beautiful Storm art
Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina.
My Beautiful Storm art
Rome, Italy.
My Beautiful Storm art
Istanbul, Turkey.
My Beautiful Storm art
Berlin, Germany.
My Beautiful Storm art
Stockholm, Sweden.
My Beautiful Storm art
Santorini, Greece.

So how could I possibly follow that adventure up? Well, as you may have noticed over the last year, I haven’t been painting nearly as much as before, and the reason for the change in pace reflects my second big journey—the arrival of my son, Storm, who is now one year old.

I wanted to take a minute to share what a momentous and life changing experience becoming a mother has been for me. One year later, I’m still just as in love as I was the moment I laid eyes on my little son for the first time. I never would have guessed how strong this feeling would be…it’s truly a gift to feel your heart swell and overflow with so much love. If I were to try to describe what motherhood is like to my curious pre-baby self who was always a little uncertain about the whole thing, I would say it’s the chance to experience the greatest, most encompassing love you will probably ever know. It’s feeling connected to the core of the human experience that pulses throughout art, music, philosophy, literature, science, history and all the driving forces that make our world spin. It’s finding the love of your life, and falling in love over and over again. It’s growing as a person in leaps and bounds. It’s a beautiful mess, but gazing at your baby’s face will make you feel that you are looking upon an angel—a pure and innocent being who is the most beautiful creature you’ve ever seen in your life. When you look at your child you’ll often be overwhelmed with emotion and your heart will melt when they smile or laugh—you’ll never have seen anything as perfect. You’ll get an idea of what miracles are made of and you’ll constantly feel blessed. Everything is awesome and some days the world seems to be overlaid with diamond-encrusted rainbows. That’s a little slice of what it’s like, or at least that’s the best I can do to convey it in words.

My Beautiful Storm art
Storm, 5 months old.

With this new chapter of my life has come a renewed outpouring of creativity and inspiration (the challenge is now all about finding the time to act upon all these great ideas!). I’ve got a new painting series in the making and some very ambitious illustration projects planned that I can’t wait to share with you.

So fellow art lovers, I hope your year is off to a fantastic start and will be filled with incredible journeys too. I want to thank you for all your kind words, encouragement, love, and stories you’ve shared with me here over the years.

As always I love to hear from you—feel free to get in touch anytime!
xoxo
-Gayle

My First Tattoo Design
My First Tattoo Design art

Here’s my first translation of art into tattoo form! I was honored to be a part of the design behind this beautiful tattoo for Anne Jansen.

Off to FIJI !
Off to FIJI ! art
Photo courtesy of Fiji Tourism.

This is it—I’ve reached MONTH 11, yes eleven—rounding out a full year of around the world travel, working as a freelance travel writer. (Check out some of the adventures here.)

Off to FIJI ! art
Photo courtesy of Fiji Tourism.

It’s been one year, 4 continents, 27 countries, and over 200 cities—and what a year it’s been! 65,000 photos later, I’m headed off again to the final destination in this around the world journey, and a place I’ve always dreamed of going—Fiji!

Off to FIJI ! art
Photo courtesy of Fiji Tourism.

I’ll be taking a short hiatus to soak up some sun and sand, but stay tuned for more adventures coming soon!

Off to FIJI ! art
Photo courtesy of Fiji Tourism.
Off to FIJI ! art
All photos courtesy of Fiji Tourism.

Venezia: Illuminations
Venezia: Illuminations art
Venice, Italy.

This watercolor was inspired by the lighting inside a church in Venice, Italy. All the colors stem from beams of colored light that were shining through a round stained glass window and setting the tiled floor aglow.

Along the Caldera, Santorini
Along the Caldera, Santorini art

Santorini, Greece is one of my most favorite places in the entire world. In fact, every time I leave the Greek Islands, I immediately want to come right back. It was difficult to capture the impossible beauty of this volcanic island in the Cyclades. In fact, this quick study really doesn’t do it justice. I’ll have to circle back around to this subject in the near future—my mind is brimming with blue and white island scenes already.

Urban Sketching in Vienna, Austria
Urban Sketching in Vienna, Austria art

I love sketching on location in Europe. Little details abound everywhere you turn. This year has been a whirlwind of inspiration and impressions. Although I haven’t had much time to paint since I’ve been on the road continuously (for just about a year now), I’ve been sketching and doing lots of creative writing along the way. Best of all, I was recently granted another opportunity to travel back to Europe (3rd time in one year)! Here’s a sketch from Vienna, Austria.

Urban Sketching in Vienna, Austria art
(detailed view.)

Patagonia: Seeing Turquoise Along Ruta 40
Patagonia: Seeing Turquoise Along Ruta 40 art
Painted along Argentina’s classic road trip route: Ruta 40.

One of the most striking things about Patagonia are the vibrant contrasts of colors out in the middle of nowhere. In a sea of golden grasses with nothing as far as the eye can see, you’ll suddenly come across a bright turquoise body of water. This is inevitable in Patagonia. And I must mention how blue the sky is down there, it’s blinding blue and often filled with huge fluffy clouds. With such a restrained color palate, you are always caught off guard when the landscape suddenly explodes into color.

Patagonia: The Fitz Roy Mountains, and Glaciers
Patagonia: The Fitz Roy Mountains, and Glaciers art
Cerro Fitz Roy, painted near El Chaltén, Patagonia, Argentina.

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares is stunning. This enormous park is filled with glaciers, mountain peaks that hug the clouds, and short trees with scraggly branches. I loved how the landscape tended to change dramatically: one minute you would be hiking along a cliff overlooking a river, the next you’d be immersed deep in a bright green forest. Further along would be a beach with windswept trees, then a plateau, then a corridor of funny little trees peppered with wildflowers and adorned with bulbous bunches of hairy fluorescent green moss balls (a form of mistletoe). I can’t begin to describe how incredibly wonderful the landscapes are in Patagonia.

This watercolor was done at a mirador viewpoint overlooking the Fitz Roy mountain range. Glaciers tumbled down from between the peaks and an endless expanse of short scraggly trees stretched out toward the mountains.

Doodling in Stockholm
Doodling in Stockholm art
Doodling in Stockholm art

Stockholm is perfect for wandering and sketching. These were done in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town district.

Urban Sketching in Bratislava, Slovakia
Urban Sketching in Bratislava, Slovakia art

Stará radnica, the old town hall, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Bergen City Sketch
Bergen City Sketch art

Happy New Year!
Here’s a page from my sketchbook, from Bergen, Norway.

Sketching in Helsinki!
Sketching in Helsinki! art

These sketches come from lovely Helsinki, Finland!

I’ve been wanting to visit Helsinki for a while, and took the long route through Scandinavia to arrive here (traveling all throughout Norway, then into Sweden, before boarding a boat from Stockholm to Tallinn, Estonia, and finally taking a ferry over to Helsinki, where I got an apartment and stayed for a bit. I love the vibe of Helsinki—it’s very artistic and designy, and completely inspirational.

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Sketching in Helsinki! art