No Excuses: Van Life and the Evolving Artist

We bought a tricked out van. I was in love with the idea of hitting the road for weeks or even months at a time! I imagined all the wildlife, landscapes, strangers, family visits, music, and hiking! The minimalism, the challenges….Then it hit me: How will I paint while we are out there? Is all this freedom going to come at a price?

My art studio at home is smallish, about 100 square feet. But in a van, an often moving van, my storage dwindles to about 6 inches, and my indoor work space grinds down to about one square foot. Uh-oh.

Luckily, I am a creative and resourceful woman. My deepest priority in life is to live as a creative, as an artist, as a soul who works her goddess-given magic. I believe this is the divine calling for all humans. No excuses! I will find a way.

I thought about painting tiny things. And I have not ruled that out entirely, but that still requires some storage issues. I am not exaggerating when I say there is barely room for essentials in a campervan, so art supplies are pure luxury.

Maybe a single sketchpad with a few nice pencils, charcoal, or black ink. I don’t usually sketch. I just paint. But sketching might prove very useful as a skill, right? I have recently embarked on painting mammals. The fox and a bear required a preliminary sketch on separate paper, which helped me to form the outline of the painted versions. What a crazy backward concept! I don’t know why I have always limited my art in this way, refusing to sketch, but insisting on painting.

It is fascinating to see that perhaps van life is going to morph my skills and expand my art, not the other way around.

When I return, I can commune with my silent, blank canvasses, waiting for me patiently, like dear old friends.

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