inspiring travel

I was fortunate to take two totally different -- but equally inspiring -- vacations this summer. The first was a long weekend in Southern Utah.  I have always loved the Southwestern US - the landscape is vast, colorful, and ever-changing.  Late July in the area is "monsoon season", so the cactus was a deeper green than I'd ever seen it, and the afternoon rains created dramatic cloud formations for gorgeous sunsets.


I also was inspired by an artist I met, Ulrike Arnold (web site:  Ulrike is a German artist who paints on location, using the rocks and soils she finds as her pigments.  Given the huge variety of colors found in the Southwest, I could understand how she could fashion a painting from the earth.  Here are a few photos of her materials and workspace:

While I may not start grinding rocks to use as pigment, I am eager to try using glass frit and powder to create a landscape in glass.


The second vacation was a cruise of the Baltic Sea.  We had spectacular weather and visited some beautiful cities and small islands.  As in the Southwest, the clouds were dramatic, though very different:

On the island of Christiansø, Denmark, we found brightly colored cottages silhouetted against a deep blue sky:

And in cities such as Stockholm, we found beautiful Hanseatic architecture:


So many inspirations!  Now the only question is, where to begin? (as soon as I recover sufficiently from the jetlag!)