I will confess – I love Jackson Hole so much, I find that I am reluctant to ever leave it! And yet after a recent trip to Paris, I certainly didn’t complain. Only a fool would do that – Paris is fabulous!
This October, I spent six glorious days visiting museums and churches, cruising the river and strolling the streets and avenues in search of the perfect crepes. It was the ideal vacation after a busy Jackson summer.
Travelers encounter new sights, sounds, and flavors, and as artists, this stimulation of the senses is important for creativity. Despite jet-lag, my first day in Paris drew me out of the hotel and onto the streets where Parisians were making the most of a sunny Sunday afternoon. The music from the street performers, the smell of roasting chestnuts and the sight of lovers beside the river all stay with me like a living postcard memory.
Another advantage of travel is the opportunity to shed the daily distractions of home. When Georgia O’Keefe traveled to New Mexico, she was also delighted to be free of her social obligations in the East and to have the quiet solitude to focus on art. Bill Sawczuk has the same experience during his annual art retreat at the Rim Rock Ranch outside of Cody, Wyoming.
Travel is not without its limitations for artists. Travel can be exhausting… especially when you are lugging around art equipment. The logistics of travel can be a distraction in and of itself. There can be a lack of depth of understanding of a foreign subject matter. Not all artists benefit from the disruption of stylistic continuity. Non-artist travel companions are not always willing to understand why, at a museum, we can stand in front of a single painting for 20 minutes or spend two hours sketching a gargoyle.