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Travel With The Ones You Love

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

Ernest Hemingway

What has your experience been? Would you agree?

Having done years of art shows, talking with thousands of people about travel, my very rudimentary research and experience would support Mr. Hemingway’s advice. As my art features travel destinations, it has touched off many shared conversations about travel joy and travel tragedy. And many of the joyful travel memories have involved a trusted fellow traveller – a close friend or family member… or an acquaintance encountered along the way who became one!

But on many occasions I’ve had visitors inquire, for example, “Is that Rome?” pointing at a painting. “Yes,” I’d answer energetically. Then I’d get either “that’s too bad” or a scowl, often followed by stories of relationships ending, fights with friends or being lonely without someone to share it. The people we travel with can definitely make or break our travel experience, and forever assign emotional associations to places.

I’ve been really blessed to have some great travel buddies that I dearly love, and many times they are part of the memory embedded into my artwork. I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately during the covid-confinement, and it’s been bringing me joy to paint these memories. Like in my latest vignette miniature, “Across A Venice Lagoon”.

This view comes from a photo taken dockside after my friend Carrie and I had just disembarked from a Prosecco-enhanced boat cruise through Venice’s canals before dusk. Even though it was a small boat, we couldn’t make out a single thing the boat guide was saying into his static-filled microphone as he pointed towards beautiful old palazzos. With our Prosecco glasses in hand, we’d look at each other confused, then look back to him, nod and say “si” or “bello”, and then collapse into giggles. This went on for 2 hours. No doubt, the sights along the cruise were absolutely gorgeous (whatever they were!), but Venice has become even more treasured to me because of having experienced it in this way, with a great friend.

3.25″ x 4″ ink and watercolour

At the back of the boat, just Cruisin’


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