Liudmila Kondakova

Alongside the dreamlike paintings of Felix Mas, while I was in Martin Lawrence Galleries, I was greeted by bright, stunning super-detailed landscape & city by paintings Liudmila Kondakova. Normally, landscapes don’t float my boat, but her paintings are quite extraordinary.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA,Cote d'Azur, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA,Cote d’Azur, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Miel aux Fleaurs de Lavande, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36 inches.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Miel aux Fleaurs de Lavande, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36 inches.

Photos of her work are difficult to find in decent resolution online; fortunately the Martin Lawrence gallery website has a slideshow of her work with larger images. This is important since in the smaller versions, some of the meticulous details in her works are overlooked and lost. She paints every single detail, from the peeling away of the walls to each bloom on a rose bush. It’s truly astounding to see in person.

It’s one thing to paint a street-scape with shops and windows, but completely another endeavour to paint the shop’s details inside the windows! Her observation and attention to tiny detail leaves me speechless. These paintings are absolutely captivating for that reason. I especially like the signage on each building and the bouquets of flowers pouring out of the brightly-shuttered windows.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Full Moon in Cassis, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 30 inches.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Full Moon in Cassis, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 30 inches.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Paris Panorama of Ten Bridges, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Paris Panorama of Ten Bridges, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches.

She paints a lot of inner city landscapes but also does a few “greener” paintings as well, the detail in every one immaculate. Moreover, she does this with gouache and acrylic paint. With oils, since they stay wet for so long, they’re generally preferable for blending and small details. Achieving the same effect with acrylic is very impressive. Her canvases appear very smooth as well, something difficult to achieve with acrylics since they dry so fast. For example, the surface of the tables I painted a few months ago clearly showed the brush strokes I used.

It’s easy for hyper-realistic paintings to fall flat, especially if they over-reference photographs. I mean, why render something realistically when you could just take a picture? To be successful, you must add something to the image that a photograph can’t reproduce. While a photograph captures a moment in time, a realistic painting can reflect movement and change, making the painting feel alive. (Not to say that photography isn’t an art, rather, I’m referring to the point-and-shoot/cell phone method of capturing a photo.)

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Daybreak on the Seine, hand-pulled serigraphs on gesso board, 16 x 12 inches, edition size: 325.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Daybreak on the Seine,
hand-pulled serigraphs on gesso board, 16 x 12 inches, edition size: 325.

I’m trying to fathom how she painted the spokes on that bike! Did she paint with a magnifying glass and a needle? She then had to repeat those strokes in the shadow of the bike… not to mention the tower on the horizon.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Le Vieux Chalet, hand-pulled serigraph printed on Coventry smooth white paper or Ebony black paper,  paper size: 23 x 29 inches, image size: 18 x 24 inches.  Signed in pencil and numbered. Also available in deluxe format on canvas.

LIUDMILA KONDAKOVA, Le Vieux Chalet,
hand-pulled serigraph printed on Coventry smooth white paper or Ebony black paper,
paper size: 23 x 29 inches, image size: 18 x 24 inches.

I wanted to spend hours examining every single one of her paintings. She was able to bring out the character of every scene she painted and render it in detail like I’ve never seen before. I can’t help but wonder how she was able to paint lines so thin or blend so well with quick-drying paints! She may have used a retarder medium to slow the drying times down. Whichever methods she used, they’ve worked beautifully.

I absolutely recommend visiting a gallery with some of her works or prints to view everything close-up. It’s nearly impossible to reflect on this blog how awe-inspiring these paintings are! If you can’t manage that, a flash-animated brochure of her works (with slightly larger images) can be viewed here, and an HTML slideshow with the larger images is available here.

Road-trip 2012: Part II, Canada

I’ll be the first to admit that after the tornado of craziness that was Boston & NYC, I was relieved to get back into Canada via Niagara Falls. Like, ridiculously relieved. It’s not that I was having a bad time in the States, I just took for granted how much I love where I live. Getting back into the country had an air of romance to it. The air was so refreshing, full of moisture from the falls. Everywhere we walked was so clean and the overall atmosphere was a lot calmer. There were tons of freshly planted flowers coming into bloom… there were even horse-drawn carriages! The breeze was a bit chilly but it was nice and warm out, so we wandered around a bit before calling it a night. With everything lit up, it was like a strange wonderland. I expected the falls to be beautiful, but didn’t expect all the glitz & glamour of the city to go with it.

The next day was spent taking our time exploring the area, as well as chilling inside for a bit in the afternoon. I really enjoyed our time here, but we noticed something pretty quickly; everything was at least x3 times as expensive as it was in the States! This applied to food, drinks, even ice cream. Seven dollars for a Peanut Buster Parfait? C’mon! I did, however, find a really cute Betty Boop lunch box that was a perfect size for my makeup collection.

Lights at Niagara Falls, via Tim Lingley

Lights at Niagara Falls, via Tim Lingley

Niagara Falls, via Tim Lingley

Niagara Falls, via Tim Lingley

Betty Boop makeup box, via Instagram

Betty Boop makeup box, via Instagram

We spent an evening in Ottawa, just as a stop-off on the way to Montreal. As it turned out, I would’ve preferred to have spent more time in Ottawa than in Niagara Falls. Niagara was certainly beautiful, but we saw most of what we wanted to see the evening we went out for a stroll (Tim got most of his photos then, as well). We got to Ottawa around supper time and immediately saw at least five places we wanted to stop and see downtown! I found an art supply store (Wallack’s) at 4:45pm, fifteen minutes before they closed. Tim encouraged me to go in anyway and I made a mad dash to grab things; the selection there was so much better than what I’d found in NYC! Thankfully we decided to spend the next morning, beautiful and sunny, downtown so that I could examine everything more carefully (Tim found some camera stores as well). I was able to get a lot of items from my art list there including marker bleed-proof paper, illustration boards, water brushes, a beginner copic spray gun, film-protect-ant for spray paint, wooden panels to paint on and a multitude of other goodies. We indulged in some souvlaki for lunch which was so delicious and a great summer food.

Tim & I in front of Parliment in Ottawa

Tim & I in front of Parliament in Ottawa, taken after we took another couples’ photo for them. 🙂

Montreal was nice the afternoon we arrived, but was rainy the entire next day. Rather than wander the streets in the rain like we did in Boston, and since we were starting to feel the exhaustion of the trip, we spent the day underground in the maze of malls and subways that connect everything downtown. I didn’t get to see much art but I did notice that fashion there is a much bigger deal. Almost everyone looked like they put a lot of effort into their clothes/accessories, much more so than anywhere else we’d been. Tim & I were a bit swept up in it; he got a haircut and I got a manicure (still going strong after a week AND having just cut my nails!).

Graffiti in Montreal, via Tim Lingley

Graffiti in Montreal, via Tim Lingley

One of the many malls in underground Montreal, via Tim Lingley

One of the many malls in underground Montreal, via Tim Lingley

Hot Chocolate! via Tim Lingley

Hot Chocolate! via Tim Lingley

Old Quebec was the final stop of our trip and proved to be quite a gem! I got to use some of my bilingual skills and didn’t do half badly! I understand most of what people said as long as they didn’t talk too fast, but answering them was a bit harder. Vieux Quebec was the highlight of the visit, with a ton of galleries to enjoy amongst all the wonderful architecture and food it features. Even though it was cold and rainy (again!) there were lots of places to pop into to escape the weather. The first day in Quebec we stumbled upon a midevil-themed store where I had a great french conversation with the sales girl, and I picked up a ring, one of the other items I’d wanted to buy on this trip.

Montreal Manicure & Medieval Ring from Vieux Quebec, via Instagram

Montreal Manicure & Medieval Ring from Vieux Quebec, via Instagram

158/365 - Old City Quebec by Tim Lingley (timlingley) on 500px.com

158/365 – Old City Quebec by Tim Lingley (timlingley) on 500px.com

158/365 – Old City Quebec by Tim Lingley

Vieux Quebec, dans le plui, via Tim Lingley

Vieux Quebec, dans le plui, via Tim Lingley

Bons bons! via Tim Lingley

Bons bons! via Tim Lingley

Even though we were only in each spot for two days or less, I got enough of a taste of everything to feel satisfied, and to know which cities I’d want to go back to. I think the next trip we take should be a relaxed sandy one, but if I had to choose one city to revisit out of what I’ve seen, I’d like to go back to Ottawa or Boston. We really enjoyed the downtown area of Ottawa and despite the fact that I’ve been there twice on my own, most of what we explored, I hadn’t seen before. Based on the size and quality of the art store, I feel like the art scene there is booming and would like to explore it more. If we went to the US again, I’d like to go back to Boston; the food was amazing everywhere we went and Newbury Street was inspiring! Honestly, Boston felt more trendy and upbeat than New York. I’d love to explore it more when it’s not cold and rainy.

It also ended up being a learning experience for both Tim & I in several ways. As we got farther into the trip, it became a taste-test of various places we may end up in the next five years. As much as I love the Maritimes and desperately want to stay here, work has not been as plentiful as we need it to be. For reasons I’m going to elaborate on, probably in the next week or two, Halifax is where I want to end up by the end of the summer. So far though, Tim hasn’t been offered any work there. We’re keeping our fingers crossed; it’s a great city just a big bigger than where we are now, not as harsh of a move as, say, Toronto would be. It might be in the cards for us to go a bit further west, though hopefully only as far as Toronto. It seems there are tons of options for both of us there.

The other thing I noticed were the differences between bigger galleries and smaller, independent ones. I loved seeing the work of the masters up close and personal, but I also really loved seeing all the new talent in the smaller galleries! Not to mention they were less crowded and most of the paintings were easier to look at. It’s very encouraging to see so many new artists with so much great work!

I thought I would feel overwhelmed looking at paintings from Dali and Van Gough, but I didn’t. Instead, I felt… not alone? It may be pretentious of me to say this, but I feel like I share something with these artists. They felt so passionately about what they did and put so much time into it, even in many cases where they saw no recognition or money from it. They were sometimes labeled as crazy or were simply dismissed. But they did it anyway, because when you feel passionate enough about something to the point where you can feel it in your core, there just isn’t anything else. It’s comforting to know that the feeling I get when I paint or draw, when I’m really in the thick of it and I’m not listening to the background music or thinking about the clock or anything else, others share this. The feelings I get when I look at paintings, whether I’m overwhelmed, overjoyed, euphoric or saddened… it’s like I can connect with the artist on some level.

Special thanks to hubby Tim Lingley for taking all the amazing photos during our trip! He purchased a new lens before we left and has certainly put it to good use.

All Tuckered Out

All Tuckered Out (and glad to see our kitties!)

Whew! I’m very glad to be back home though and finally able to use this inspiration I’ve been gathering over the past two weeks! Back to normal blog posts on Friday, starting with a progress post on what I’ve been doing since I got back.

Road-trip 2012: Part I, US

What a whirlwind of adventure I’ve had over the past two weeks! Where to begin? The roadtrip I took with my husband was pretty well all-encompassing, with visits to outdoors-y places as well as concrete jungles. We started out by driving down through the White Mountains of NH where we stayed at a quaint small cabin for a few days. Seeing the white-capped mountains for the first time was so surreal. Most of the mountains I’ve seen are green or brown; these were out of a fairy tale.

White Mountains, NH (via instagram)

White Mountains, NH (via instagram)

Coliseum Falls, NH

Coliseum Falls, NH

It was one of the most relaxing parts of the trip; the fresh air, the beautiful scenery and the crisp weather was rejuvenating and prepared us for the bustling that would take place over the next week. We did tons of hiking, taking in lots of nature and the many waterfalls scattered throughout the area (we hiked to half a dozen or so).  The weather was prefect for hiking; lots of sun to guide our way and a nice refreshing cold breeze to keep us on our toes.  After unwinding in the mountains, it was onto Boston, with one stop at the Currier Art Museum in Massachusetts.

Cappuccinos at Currier Art Museum

Cappuccinos at Currier Art Museum

Currier Art Museum, cafe (via instagram)

Currier Art Museum, cafe (via instagram)

Our visit to this gallery was very pleasant; it’s just the right size that you’re able to explore the entire gallery in an afternoon without feeling overwhelmed. Since we were there during the day, it wasn’t overly crowded. The cafe offered more-than-reasonably-priced meals and absolutely stunning mosaics to behold while we relaxed. There were a few pieces from Monet and several other well-known artists, with some modern art to enjoy as well. I highly recommend going if you’re in the area.

Getting into the first of our “Big Cities” was a bit stressful, but in the end we found our Sommerville B&B. It was cold and rainy the entire day we spent in Boston, but we donned our raincoats and ventured out into the wet anyway. Despite the rain, Tim managed to get some lovely photos of the city and we really enjoyed walking around, taking in all the parks and sights.

Tulips in Boston (via Tim Lingley)

Tulips in Boston (via Tim Lingley)

Outside Boston Public Library (via Tim Lingley)

Outside Boston Public Library (via Tim Lingley)

We found our way to Newbury Street, which according to my research was supposed to be a really nice shopping spot. It turned out to be better than that, with lovely cafes, designer fashion spots and tons of independent galleries! The modern art on display in these galleries was truly inspiring and I plan to dedicate a handful of future entries to the artists we discovered while there. This street was one of the highlights of the trip for me. It had so much to behold and so many exciting opporitunities.

After walking all over Boston and ducking into the mall for a bit to escape the rain, we enjoyed a delicious supper in Little Italy and treated ourselves to some goodies at Mike’s Pastry (chocolate cheesecake, we ate it too fast for photos). Then it was back to the room to prepare for our journey to NYC.

Plymouth (via Tim Lingley)

Plymouth (via Tim Lingley)

It’s worth noting that we stopped in Plymouth on the way to New York; it was a lovely spot to stretch your legs, especially if you enjoy sea food! It had a very nice downtown area with cafes that made delicious Mochas. I wish we’d had the chance spent more time there, but it already set us back a few hours and we had to get going to make it to Newark before dark… which we didn’t end up doing. D’oh!

NYC (via Tim Lingley)

NYC (via Tim Lingley)

As I expected it to be, New York was a blur of lights and sound. Skyscrapers filled every horizon. People hustled and bustled and traffic was insane for most of the day. Thank goodness for public transit! It felt similar to Toronto, but taken to a whole new level of busy. It wasn’t hard to navigate the city but there was so much to see that it became a bit overwhelming. We got to MoMA and spent a few hours pouring over paintings from the masters including Gough, Dali, Monet, Picasso and Warhol among MANY others, but since there was so much there, we didn’t get to see it all.

Starry Night for real! (via Tim Lingley)

Starry Night for real! (via Tim Lingley)

Though I enjoyed seeing all the prestigious paintings, the biggest surprise for me in MoMA was Monet’s work; I had no idea they were so large (Water Lillies in particular)! Seeing his paintings fill an entire wall was incredible! I tried to grasp how you’d paint something so large and how much “stepping back” you’d have to do. It made me rethink how’d he paint, what tools and techniques he’d use.

Outside MoMA, an artist was doing portraits in oils:

Outside the MoMA (via Tim Lingley)

Outside the MoMA (via Tim Lingley)

One of the great things about visiting larger cities was the book stores! I was able to pick up two art books I’d been pining over that weren’t available in Canada (or were priced outrageously here, the dollar is at par, guys): 1000 Ideas by 100 Manga Artists, Hunt & Gather: Discovering New Art. I could’ve spent hours in the book stores alone as the art sections were so huge, but eventually we had to move on. I was expecting to fine some awesome or rare art supply stores in Boston and NYC, but we didn’t have much luck. We did trek a pretty long way in NYC to check out the Central Art Supply store but despite the size of the place, they didn’t have much of a different selection compared to what we have here in NB.

153/365 - Busy City Street in NYC by Tim Lingley (timlingley) on 500px.com
153/365 – Busy City Street in NYC by Tim Lingley

As much as I loved and was inspired by the Big Cities, I don’t think I could live there long term. The entire time I was there, I had this feeling in the back of my mind telling me to watch my back, mind my purse, etc. There weren’t any areas that I felt really unsafe in, but I still felt a bit apprehensive for most of the time. Pretty well everyone we interacted with was very nice, though! There was very little of the rudeness that I’ve heard so much about.

The first week of our trip was a great taste of the States: a mix of nature and city, both extremes. Given the choice, I’d go back to Boston first just to continue down Newbury Street to explore more of their galleries. Though NYC had a lot to offer, I felt that Boston was a trendier place to be.

Since this is getting a bit lengthy, I’ll keep the Canadian part of our trip to the next entry. See you then, starting at Niagara Falls!

Fashion Goodies

Okay, so this post isn’t strictly art-related and may be a bit of a stretch. I’ve been running around trying to get things in order all week and sadly, I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to drawing or painting. I have made some progress on the last owl and will try to get an image of that up next week. Also, decided against stock-piling entries to post while I’m away; I didn’t want to feel forced to write and end up with sub-par content, so my blog will be on vacation with me. 🙂

In addition to the art supply shopping and many other activities we’ll be doing on the road for the next two weeks, I’m going to be keeping an eye out for some updates to my wardrobe. Rather than hitting the malls I’d like to explore local shops and markets for handmade goods.

I’ve collected a lot of necklaces and bracelets recently, so I’d like to try and beef up my ring collection. Large teal and blue stones have been popular lately and would work with a lot of different outfits. Most of the rings I have now are sparkly, so getting a larger stone with a pattern or cat’s eye in it would be a nice change. My hands are quite small but I’m a fan of big chunky jewelry:

Amulet Stone Ring via Channing Allard

Amulet Stone Ring via Channing Allard

turquoise stone stretch ring via jane norman

turquoise stone stretch ring via jane norman

I’ve noticed the trend of slouchy-type hats in the colder seasons and would love to add one to my wardrobe as well for those days that my hair doesn’t cooperate. If I stuck with a neutral color I could wear it with just about anything. As for warmer climates, ever since Greece, I’ve been on the search for the perfect sun hat. Because I’m prone to headaches, migraines and wear contact lenses, the bright sun tends to make my eyes hurt. Of course I love the sun, so I need to find a way to enjoy it comfortably. I already have a great pair of over-sized sunglasses but would like a nice hat to switch them up with every once in awhile. There are so many different kinds that I can’t really decide which I want more. I’m leaning towards a Fedora or Cowboy-type hat, something with a shorter rim as opposed to a wide-brimmed hat which looks ridiculous on my small head.

ASOS Boyfriend Knit Beanie via ASOS

ASOS Boyfriend Knit Beanie via ASOS

Alpaca Hand Knit Hat - Ash Brown, via Etsy

Alpaca Hand Knit Hat - Ash Brown, via Etsy

Marschel, via Aldo

Marschel, via Aldo

via Bootbarn

via Bootbarn

My over-sized scarf has been acting as a wrap when I get chilly. It’s a beautiful scarf, but it’d be nice to have something with sleeves so I don’t have to untangle myself from the scarf all the time. I love the sweater wraps below, either with the tassled ends or the frayed ones. Something with a bold geometrical pattern would refresh my wardrobe  a bit. Having a new light jacket would be nice as well seeing as the thin canvas jacket I currently have is getting a bit ratty and has almost lost it’s buttons. As a bonus, it would be good to have a good neutral jacket to layer over my summer dress.

Mikayla Tribal Sweater via tobi

Mikayla Tribal Sweater via tobi

via Kat Von D

via Kat Von D

Lamara Rider Jacket via AllSaints

Lamara Rider Jacket via AllSaints

In less than 24 hours I’ll be on the road! Wish us luck over the next two weeks! Tim got himself a new lens so there will be tons of photos when we get back. With any luck, I’ll be able to make a few posts from our accommodations but it all depends on how exhausted we are in between stops.

Have a great weekend!

Must-Sees at the MoMA

Our upcoming roadtrip is taking us through NYC, meaning I will get a chance to see the Museum of Modern Art! I wasn’t sure what they had on display, so I visited their website and discovered that, thanks to Google’s art project “Artworks”, most of the work is available to view online! I plan to go to MoMA with somewhat of a battle plan, since we only really have one full day there and we’ll want to explore other areas of the city. Here are some of the paintings I want to get a closer look at: the links at the top take you to the high resolution versions at Google Art Project, and clicking the images will take you to Wikipedia for more information (or Google Art Project if there was no wiki entry).

The Starry Night by Van Gogh

The Starry Night by Van Gogh

The Starry Night by Van Gogh

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli Sandro Botticelli

The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)

The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)

Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais

John Everett Millais - Ophelia

John Everett Millais - Ophelia

Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet

Charing Cross Bridge, Monet

Charing Cross Bridge, Monet

Marie-Antoinette With The Rose by Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

Marie-Antoinette With The Rose by Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

Marie-Antoinette With The Rose by Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

The Two Crowns by Sir Frank Dicksee

The Two Crowns by Sir Frank Dicksee

The Two Crowns by Sir Frank Dicksee

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse

The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson

The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson

I’m hoping that seeing these pieces in person will help give me a better understanding on how they were composed, maybe some hints on technique. Starry Night has been a favorite of mine for awhile (this may or may not have been influenced by his recent appearance in Doctor Who) and so has Ophelia. I remember being struck by Ophelia for the first time while sitting in English class in middle school. I believe the Lady of Shalott was there as well. I applaud the teachers the show art in their classrooms! It’s a great way to get conversations going and you never know who you might inspire!

Seeing how the masters rendered both nature and fabrics in stunning detail has always fascinated me. I’m also excited to see some more abstract works, especially since my abstract course last summer. I have such a better appreciation for the likes of Monet and Gogh, and am itching to see their works close up.

Looking over the museum maps, it looks like I’ll be starting on the top floor and heading downwards. With any luck I’ll be able to see all of these paintings and not feel too overwhelmed. I’m also told that the MoMa has an excellent cafe with delicious mochaccinos, so I know where to go to fuel up! I’d like to get a look at some of the current exhibitions at well, but we’ll see how I feel after the fifth floor…

…any pieces you guys would recommend visiting?

Restless Spring Rain

Over the long weekend I finished my Guidance Owl illustration and began on the Death Owl:

Death Owl, progress by Jess Lingley

Death Owl, progress by Jess Lingley

The sky was a lot of fun, I kind of channeled a little Van Gough with it. Streaks of color blended together give a lovely effect, even if it’s not totally realistic. The lighting in this piece is going to be another challenge, since I don’t color with evening palettes very often. I haven’t been able to find any solid references for this kind of color online, so I’m winging it and having a lot of fun.

The more I color in, the more the finished product starts to come together in my mind. Frequently I find things that I’ve missed while inking, and come up with ways to make several parts in the piece work together. I’m trying to blend the colors in this really well, using some of the techniques I posted in the COPIC time-lapse videos I posted earlier in the week.

With spring, I start to come out of “hibernation mode” and feel incredibly ambitious. The snow melts away and grass peaks through the brown; everything feels new and fresh. As it warms up and the rain begins, it washes away all the grime and dirt that the winter left behind, cleaning the slate for things to come in the summer. Tim’s exams are almost done and all of my projects this year have been self-directed. On top of that, I haven’t done any classes, not that I’ve been able to find any that have honestly interested me. It’s not that I’m losing the flame for art: quite the opposite, actually. I’m feeling pretty restless and eager to embark on something totally new and exciting.

Out the Window by Tim Lingley

Out the Window by Tim Lingley

I’ve been scheming away on some pretty big changes that I can’t quite announce yet (groooooooooan) but in the meantime, after Tim has finished his last exam, we’re going on a road trip! It’s an ambitious two-week drive down through New Hampshire, Boston, New York and back up through Niagara Falls, with a quick stop in Ottawa and then onto Montreal and Quebec before heading back home. I’ve only been to Ottawa and am so looking forward to the change of scenery! Walking around in an unfamiliar place, eating interesting local cuisine, seeing the sun set and rise over a different horizon… all of these things are exactly what I need to quench this thirst of mine! I’ve almost finished booking accommodations and then it’s on to figuring out what to do in the little time we have at each stop. You can bet I’m going to visit as many galleries and local craft shops as possible.

photo by Tim Lingley

photo by Tim Lingley

I have all these romantic visions of sipping espresso and water-coloring painting in New York City… so exciting! I also can’t wait to check out what the art shops have to offer compared to what’s available here… I don’t know what internet is going to be like during the trip so I’m planning to stock-pile some posts, so this blog doesn’t get too dusty while I’m gone. With any luck I’ll be able to post some interesting tidbits from the road, too. I’ll be out the last week of April and the first week of May, but until then, it’s business as usual.

For anyone who’s been to these places before: can you recommend anything? Restaurants, good look-out spots, galleries or anything else of interest?