Bridget Gleeson Travel Writer

Philadelphia2
Traveling watercolors: a year in review

Last Christmas, I received a travel watercolor set. In 2015 I took it to Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the Grand Canyon, California, Spain, and Nicaragua.

I tried to paint something everywhere I went. I’m not an artist – I know I’m not a very good painter – and that fact took the pressure off. I just needed a new hobby, a new way of looking at things. I needed an excuse to get off my iPhone and my MacBook. I wanted to actually look at things in real life instead of staring at them on a screen.

What I learned this year in trying to paint trees, castles, vegetable stands, houses, and beaches: you don’t have to be great at something to find fulfillment in it. (Did I mention I’m also a mediocre pianist and an average skiier?) Trying something new was refreshing. And other people noticed the effort. I walked into a party in Buenos Aires and someone I’d never met before said to me, “hey, are you the girl who paints trees and takes pictures of them?” Yes, I am, I thought. I was embarrassed for a second, and then I wasn’t.

Here, looking back at a dozen postcards – my twelve favorites out of the little paintings I made on the road this year – one for each month of the year.

 

watercolor1

 

watercolor2

 

watercolor3

 

watercolor4

 

watercolor5

 

watercolor6

watercolor7

 

watercolor8

 

watercolor9

 

watercolor10

 

watercolor11

 

watercolor12


 

cities that matter

Many of these are from Buenos Aires. That’s the other lesson I took from this: you can go all the way to Basque Country or Cozumel or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to find beautiful views, or you can take a moment to really look at the streets you walk down every day. So: here’s to developing new interests. Happy New Year!

___________________________