My Inspirational Retreat

mtrainier My whole life I've wanted to live somewhere other than NY and Rhode Island. But it hasn't happened, yet. This summer I decided to just pack up my supplies and rent an Airbnb, get on a plane, stay for 3 weeks and see what happens. I'm still in the middle of it so I don't have perspective but so far I can say its been wonderful for the change of pace. I'm on Vashon Island which is a little island a ferry ride from Seattle. This is my view from the deck of my house and from the work table I set up in front of a big glass window. Different, yes!!!


The first day I was nervous, I had a stomachache because of it but as I adjusted to the situation I felt myself relaxing. Sort of luckily a few jobs I have got delayed a little bit so I really had time to explore the island, see new things and play around with painting. I've been wandering the roads and the beach and collecting wildflowers and rocks and seeds, so many little bits that inspire me. My eyes are open wider.


There are really nice houses here, cute cottages, gardens that are out of this world and amazing views. I take lots of pictures so I can refer to them later for reference. I also have done a lot of plein air painting which I don't get to do very often.

Jennifer_OrkinLewis_vashonlandscape2.s JenniferOrkinLewis_vashonlandscape1.s

I've done many loose, slightly abstracted  watercolors in a cheap sketchbook just to get going. for me, if I work in a very quick way, without regard for the final outcome I can find new ideas and directions. Even here I still have times where I have no idea what I want to paint, what is inspiring me. But I go take a walk along the beach, or a hike in the woods. Or go to a cute cafe and sit for tea. These small mindful things are so necessary to the creative process and sometimes in the business of everyday life I forget to take time for myself.





And I've met the most wonderful warm, kind people. I've been invited over to so many incredible homes. With all the stuff going on in the world right now it's such a pleasure to turn off the news and just enjoy simple, beautiful, generous humanity.




Every other blog post I have to say "I can't believe how long its been since I blogged" I guess it's just the way it goes. You have to say no to somethings, so others can get done.  Time passes, where does it go? JOL_motherbabysketch_wreath_s

A sweet woman who is teaching a class on Joyful Mothering commissioned me to paint this last week. I love the softness and love here. My son is turning 22 in March.This feels like a lifetime ago.

Daily Painting Sketchbook 6.1-12

6.11&12 6.9&10





I was sad when the pages for the nautical's got stuck together.. and they ripped when I pulled them apart. Oh well. It's all in the plan not to obsess over it too much. In the meantime I've painted a few similar ones on canvas and paper to keep up the flow. I still find the hardest part to be what to paint.. There are either too many ideas or I get completely stuck. So I just choose something and go for it.