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.)
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!
I’ll be taking a short hiatus to soak up some sun and sand, but stay tuned for more adventures coming soon!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stockholm is perfect for wandering and sketching. These were done in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town district.
Stará radnica, the old town hall, Bratislava, Slovakia.
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.
Happy December!! I’ve finally had a minute on this wild tour of Europe to scan in a couple pages from my sketchbook! I was very inspired by the elaborate puppets at the Estonian Museum of Puppet Arts, which had not just puppets, but a puppet making workshop, artisan studios, and a puppet theater with really cool live performances.
You can also see photos from the puppet museum here, and read all about Tallinn here.
The Icebar in Stockholm is a super cool way to spend a frosty evening in the city. This fancy bar is cooled to -5 degrees Celsius, and you can order nordic themed drinks in ice glasses. My personal favorites were “Husky Sledge” (Absolut vanilla with cinnamon and apple) and “Northern Light” (Absolut Raspberry, creme de cassis lime and raspberry puree).
Read more about it at CultureVixen.com.