Art for Summer Vacations
It is that time of the year when we vacation or if we have
the opportunity we “Get Out and See”. Summer
is here, and the temperature is rising. We search for that place to cool our
days and excite our senses. If we are lucky we travel to far off places and
discover ourselves anew while basking in the view of a beautiful sunrise or
sunset. We spend our afternoons lazily browsing small vintage shops, historical
sites, museums, gardens of beauty and restaurants of epicurean delights. I have
not travelled much abroad, but I am grateful to have visited both The
Netherlands and France during my 1990 group art exhibition in Deventer Holland.
These locales are wonderful places indeed, and I will never forget the
hospitality and kindness that I received throughout my journey. It is the
people that make a journey abroad so special.
Here in the states, I often carve out a weekend adventure
here or there. I enjoy outdoor activities that test my physical being, and challenge
my sense of adventure. I also like to seek out places that provide emotional
recovery through meditative contemplation and recollection. This is vital for restoration.
I feel a great vacation should always provide moments of excitement and serenity….
What do you think? Where are some of your favorite places to
vacation? What do you seek out most when planning a vacation? Is it to find
adventure or is it to just relax? Do you prefer travels abroad or weekends
close to home? Please share your thoughts.
The art work that I have included in this post, are expressions
of the theme I call “Art for Summer Vacations”. The first piece “Vacation / a
journey without moving” is a collage of photographs I took as I travelled to the
city of Amsterdam, the town of Deventer (both in The Netherlands), the shores
of Cape Cod and Nantucket, and the mountains of North Carolina. The second
image entitled “Summer and its Warm Embrace” is a journey through mountains,
lakes and trails in NC, SC and TN during
personal hikes and an artist residency provided by the South Carolina State
My first visit to Charleston was in 2005 during my two-person
exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery. It was my first time visiting the
city, and my first major exhibit in the state of South Carolina. The previous
year I had been awarded a week long artist residency at Barnwell State Park via
the South Carolina State Parks’ Artists Fellowship Program. This series created in the year
2010 is a reflection of the timeless and imaginary moments, found in the beauty of
morning, afternoon, and evening. As in my
previous posts, I am attempting to examine the relationship we have with memory
and place. I loved my visit to Charleston. I found it to be a beautiful, warm city
with great food, ambience and culture.
A beautiful day in a new place is always an exciting moment of
exploration and renewal, and of recollection in an artist’s mind. Here as the
bright sun of the afternoon beckoned, there were shops, galleries, music halls, and
restaurants to meander lazily through. The South I found, can joyously bring out the
leisurely feeling in one’s step. But the highlight of
Charleston is the bay. Most of the area is filled with historic monuments. The
bay is expansive and walking next to the waves crashing on the sea wall was
exhilarating. It can be a beautiful afternoon of discovery indeed.
As the afternoon turned to dusk, evening slowly approached. And in
that serene backdrop of the setting sun, there were floating memories of
friends, family and beautiful times gone by. The memories moved through the
color of evening and I found the night full of waking dreams.
Then and now I trust in the mystery of the day.
Where are the places that you visited for the first time
that has left lasting memories? What do you love about exploring new places? Do
you associate certain moments in your life, or loved ones with those places? If
so, please do share.
I am very fortunate that were I live, I can immediately access miles of rural back roads to immerse myself on my road bike. I spoke earlier about the sense of transformation that is achieved while biking. Here on these winding roads and gently sloping hills, I pass by farm lands, historic areas, woods and beautiful estates. What enhances a great ride is the right music. There is a distinct difference in the selection of music for road and mountain. On the road there is a need to be able to hear your surroundings for safety measures. Hence, my selection is always, soft, slow dancing ambient. My favorite band for a ride is the neo-classical ambient band from Austin Texas, Stars of the Lid. In fact, this has been the most prolific band for me in the past two years. This is aural mastery of the highest order. In contrast, when mountain biking, there really is no need to be conscious of your surroundings. Now your music can flow anyway you like. For the mountain, I prefer long flowing electronic sounds from bands like AES Dana, Bombay Dub Orchestra and Near the Parenthesis, or French Pop artists like Etienne Daho, France Gall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Alizee to name a few. It is here on the mountain when you need that extra aural drive to push your rhythm to its fullest—to make that climb.