Tag Archives: Art Safari

Zambia – what an adventure!

With Zambia temperatures in the high 90s, the heat and dust made me wish for cooler weather. Waking up back home in upstate NY, the cool rain was exactly what I needed.
But – Africa, right? It’s now in my heart and in my dreams.

There is a lack of focus in these posts, so let’s blame it on jet lag, okay?
I’m not sure where to start, to share parts of this experience. It feels like words aren’t enough to describe it.  Well, of course there are sketches, but maybe I’ll start at the beginning.

When you’re my seat mate, or in an airport, know that you are fair game to be a sketch subject.  Asleep on the plane

Arriving at Thornicroft Lodge near Mfuwe, we had a perfect view of the river, with hippos and various birds.  View across Luangwe River

Our safari rides into South Luangwe Park started on Tuesday. My dream on this trip was to see elephants, and they did not disappoint!  So as not to overwhelm you, I’ll only post some of the sketches today. There were many fantastic opportunities to sketch, and we took advantage of them!
2017 Z Elephants 1    elephants 3  elephants 4

Trip prep

Yes, I’ve been busy, buying special clothes and repellant and whatnot for the upcoming Zambia trip. But on a quiet night recently, I thought it might help to practice sketching elephants, so I turned on a documentary, and here’s the result:

Elephant sketches

Pasted the stamp that arrived on my Zambia info packet, then realized I had plenty of room to sketch!

I also thought I’d try on an “outfit” while holding a sketchbook, and did a selfie sketch.

Bernadette's selfie

Yep, I’m a nerd! But you probably knew that.

I really should be practicing other animals, but… I have no idea what we will end up seeing!
For now, I’ll just practice sketching – anything, just to keep the pen and pencils and colors moving!

Still sketching! Dinosaurs at the museum…

In spite of a lack of posts, I am still sketching, but haven’t been posting much.

Let’s catch up and see what I have been working on.  Way back in January, the same day I found out that my second grandbaby would be another girl (yippee!), I was also thrilled to meet Heidi and Mary-Anne from Art Safari! This is the company that I went with to (amazing) Morocco last fall.
They were touring NYC with a small group, and we were able to coordinate a short meeting at the Museum of Natural History. They are just as friendly and charming in person as they were via email. You might notice how much I enjoyed the dinosaur exhibits by my sketches here…

PS – Granddaughter #2 arrived recently and all are doing well!

mammoth

My 3rd sketch at the museum – I feel like I warmed up with the first two!

Mammoth

My 2nd sketch of the day

Dinosaur at the Museum of Natural History

Dinosaur at the Museum of Natural History – His head was sticking out of the room to show how large he was!

 

Exploring Essaouira

Day 1 started off with a short art lesson on the roof.  Temperatures were comfortable mid 70s the entire week.  Karen (of Art Safari)  had some really great tips and instructions on perspective, and how to “shrink” people as they get further away, depending if you are sitting or standing.  She also gave a few pointers on the different arch types in buildings.

Lesson in perspective

Our first lesson was valuable with so many people around!

Then, we were off exploring this new town.  So many sights, sounds, people and creatures – it could have been overwhelming to the senses, but Karen got us sketching first thing, and that definitely got me focused: What do I want to sketch?  Study it before starting.  Then, just make the lines.  Everything else slowly fades away.

Bread wagon

Bread wagon

 

Essaouira window

Essaouira window

Shop display

Shop display

After a bit, we all stopped for a break. The mint tea again! Oh joy.  I so need to learn to re-create at home.  But it’s never the same, is it?

Mint tea

Mint tea

Then more walking, some lunch and more sketching. (Exactly what I came for!) We found (I should say Abdul found it!) a shop that sold spices and watercolor pigments. The owner happily demonstrated the various colors, which several of us went back to purchase later.

Watercolor Pigments in Essaouira

Watercolor Pigments such as mogador blue and blue marjorelle

Closed up the afternoon sketching in a square with colorful rugs for sale, displayed on the sidewalk, even hanging from trees!

Rugs on display

Rugs on display

Madrid – a short visit

A short background: This is one of several posts about my first trip to Madrid and Morocco.  I found Art Safari online, and am I glad I did! This company plans trips for artists. They worked closely with me and planned every detail, with an end result of perfection.  I met some great people, who now feel like old friends, enjoyed my art lessons from Karen and found the perfect blend of interacting with others and free time to myself, learning new things and relaxing, going and not going. For me, a nearly perfect vacation!
Art Safari is based in England, but they are planning a trip to NYC in January, if you’d like to meet a few of the team!

Now, on to my story…In my short time in Madrid (only 1.5 days), I couldn’t do the city justice, although not for lack of trying. The architecture was divine, I could have sat and just sketched buildings!

madrid hotel view

Bara Cosmetics building- view from my hotel window

After my morning arrival, I rested in my room for a bit, then took off exploring. First strolled down Gran Via and over to Puerta del Sol. There were lots of street artists, and entertainers, and several looked as though they were defying gravity.

Madrid motorcycle artist

Then over to Plaza Mayor, where I happened to find the Mercado San Miguel, which, yes, it was touristy, but hello, that’s what I am! Inside was a feast for the eyes, nose and stomach!

Madrid Mercado San Miguel veggies

Veggies at Mercado San Miguel

I passed on the animal brains and the sea urchins (One question? How to eat?) and chose paella, easy on the stomach.

Madrid sea urchins

Another easy on the stomach (and eyes!) was the hotel breakfast – croissants, fresh fruit, cheese, jambon and plates of scrambled eggs were offered.

hotel las letras breakfast

Unfortunately, my internal gps was incorrect as usual, and I took off in the wrong direction, thinking I was heading back to my hotel. Wrong!  Thankfully my phone’s gps was working, and once I realized I had NO idea where I was heading in such a hurry, I switched it on and got safely back to the hotel.

I will be posting more of this amazing trip soon!