Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482. We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly.
Aruba is a vacation destination I didn’t know I’d love, and now having been there twice, I can’t wait to go back. Why I didn’t know I’d love it is because I’ve never been much of a “beach bum”. Throughout my beach-going life (which wasn’t all that extensive) I’d find myself hot and bored most of the time…but the water in Aruba is the calm, crystal clear, blue-green water of your dreams. It’s sort of like a giant, ocean-sized swimming pool. Now I’ve heard that there are areas with rougher water, suitable for surfing, but that’s not what I was looking for so I never sought them out.
Aside from having a beer by the sea, what I really enjoyed was taking a few different art supplies to the beach each day and just playing around. There is something about the mindset of a vacation that frees me to experiment and play. It’s as if whatever I create is right, because it was created in a beautiful, relaxed moment. Not sure if that makes sense to everyone, but I think most artists can relate.
A wonderful challenge I gave myself was to try and replicate the color of the water. I stared at it and it was just vibrating. I made this page of visual notes, putting down the patterns I saw and all of the many color combinations. These are the simple moments of discovery that make me so grateful I learned to make art on location.
At the bottom of the page of notes I began to make quick sketches of people at the beach. One study led to another and I began to try and capture the colors of the many shades of tan and sunburned bodies. A unique aspect to Aruba is the wind, it blows all day and can be a lot at times, though you get used to it. Why mention this? There are still grains of sand stuck in the paintings below.
And from there I decided to slow down and try something new with the water and the people. I think it was gouache I was using with watercolors here but I really don’t remember. Honestly it could’ve been gouache so let’s just say it was 😉 I really enjoyed letting one study lead to the next.
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my impressions from this beautiful island and that you may be inspired to visit one day.