Last week I taught a one day iPad art workshop to a number of local artists in Lafayette LA and then attended a three-day workshop in watercolor journaling held by Don Getz and organized by my sister Ceci. Another sister, Mercedes, participated in much of the fun, including the iPad session. Since I was so close to home, Ceci and I swung over to Biloxi afterward to visit our dad and his wife and more brothers and sisters.
As for making art while out-of-town, I didn’t paint while teaching. And it was so cold and windy during the plein air workshop that I didn’t do anything of note then either. In fact, after a couple of watercolor/ink drawings, I resorted to my iPad to get something — anything — down before my hands went numb. Though everything is unfinished, I’ll show you the state of play (along with a few photos of what we were memorializing) so you can get a flavor for the beauty of Cajun country. Teaser: we painted the St. John Cathedral Oak, the third largest live oak in the country.
My sweet hubby, busy reading the Saturday papers. A new ArtRage/iPad painting, done freehand, based on a reference photo I made of him some time ago. This one was done using only the watercolor tool, over a light pencil sketch on the bottom layer.
We had beautiful days in Vinales, sunrise to sunset. I took lots of photos and, while waiting for evening activities, made a couple more paintings. A gouache of the valley below our balcony (the black paper didn’t photograph well):
‘Gauzy’ gouache of the valley beneath our balcony.
and a watercolor of a lone palm tree presiding over the pool (painted happily with a Mojito at my elbow):
A proud palm by the pool at Los Jazmines,Vinales.
Here are a few more photos in and around Los Jazmines Hotel, made primarily to fix the place and its beauties in my memories:
Early sunrise at Los Jazmines.
Tobacco barn underway in the valley.
The cozy cafe-bar in the hotel.
We DID drink coffee in addition to plentiful Mojitos!
Pink hotel and blue pool made a cool combo.
A casual evening around the pool.
We sigh and snap a photo of our last Vinales sunset.
We pass a ‘colorful’ mural en route to the morning bus.
Goodbye, Vinales! Goodbye, Los Jazmines! On to Havana!
For the next cultural-artistic adventure, we bused to nearby Vinales town and hiked to a small tobacco farm out on the valley floor.
Our first glimpse of the farm.
The farmer’s wife brews coffee.
In the thatched kitchen — an outbuilding, so as to minimize the risk of fire — we enjoyed a complimentary coffee brewed by the farmer’s wife from beans grown and roasted by the family.
As we sat around with some of the best coffee we’ve ever had, her husband demonstrated his cigar-rolling technique. It was interesting to learn that each farm family uses its own secret recipe to ferment its 10% share of the annual tobacco crop.
We were able to persuade the farmer to move his table outside and demo his technique again — this time, we painted. Another wonderful local subject!
The farmer turns model for the afternoon.
I was grateful to snag a small chair and a sliver of shade for our painting session. Here’s the watercolor I made.