It’s the second full day of a Watercolor and Yoga Retreat with Andie Thrams, and I’m trying to not be bummed that I’m inside painting, again, just like at home. Yes, it’s still raining. We’ve had to move cars so tents and campers can use the parking lot, in real anticipation of being flooded near the riverbank.
At mid-morning, a surprise.
The sun has decided to grace us with its presence, breaking through the clouds, halting the rain. No one breathes a word, but each in turn nods silently toward the rays gliding gently into our workspace. The silence seems to assure that we won’t frighten or offend the sun, and send it behind the clouds again. Myself, I can hardly contain my excitement, hoping that we may get outdoors today.
It becomes real. We spend a portion of the morning discussing and then preparing for our field studies – what to pack, how to observe. Using a backpack keeps my hands free to hold sketchbook and pencil so I can sketch what I’m drawn to on the way…
I bring up the rear, my fellow painters already seated and focused on their journals alongside the river. I could wander in wonder, alone for hours…the absence of human voices soothes me, and as I absorb the beauty around me, it seems to draw me into it’s world as I nestle in to find my place there.
Field Outing Watercolor Tips: I learned so much about what not to take, discovering just how minimalist my watercolor kit could be for such an excursion. If it all fit into a gallon size ziplock, that would be too much. Here’s what I learned to bring (so far): 3 different sized water brushes, a small narrow water container, water for drinking and painting, tarp, visor to shield my eyes from the sun, sketchbook and journal, 2-3 assorted pencils. And if I plan to be out for a while, and have inclination to carry more stuff: a pencil sharpener, eraser, light colored pencil, bulldog clips, seat, snacks… and my camera.