I have just returned from a small ship cruise on the Clio, organized by Grand Circle Cruise Line and led by the fantastic Program Director, Alejo. We began in Lisbon, Portugal and stopped at various ports in Spain (and Gibraltar). The flights to and from Europe were long, 7+ and 8+ hours and I had packed watercolor supplies in my carryon. What I learned though, is that despite being well prepared to paint on the plane, I just didn't have the desire to do so! Eating and drinking, light reading and movie marathons were the only diversions for which I had any inclination.
Our ship was very comfortable and had both indoor and outdoor lounge areas (and a hot tub!) The climate was still very hot and street life mostly closes up around 1:30pm so after lunch was an ideal time for painting. I worked on some commissions and did a little painting just for myself. I found a charming print of Gibraltar in a small shop at the port but rather than purchase it, I decided to make my own painting. I don't normally do landscapes so it was a challenge, but I am happy with the outcome:
Gibraltar as seen from the Port, 6"x8"
Of course there were many other inspirational subjects in Lisbon and Spain. We spent some time in the intoxicating market in Valencia:
Top row: Tilework inside the market, Central dome, Sardine display
Bottom row: Olives and fruit, Valencia orange tree outside market, flower display
I loved these flowers, though I don't know what kind they are, and painted them during some downtime:
Flowers, Valencia, Mercado Central, 12"x9"
For me, the highlight of the trip was Barcelona. I loved the Art Nouveau buildings and of course the Gaudi! Though we were there for only one day, we were able to see the interiors of both Casa Mila ("La Pedrera") and the famous Sagrada Familia. I am thinking about making a little painting from my photographs of La Pedrera and perhaps also some of the landscapes I photographed of the ports and countryside. I love painting flowers, but I also want to expand my horizons (no pun intended).
Of course, there were many more wonderful moments from my trip and lots of inspiring photographs still to sift through. But first, laundry!