The most difficult part of any trip is leaving. Shutting down my studio for a couple of weeks is kind of traumatic.
The poet Richard Robbins and I are taking a group of students down to Chile and Peru. It's a class focusing on art and travel or perhaps the art of travel. We will be making watercolor painting and poems about our experiences. The idea is to be in a new place that challenges our assumptions about things. Hopefully there will be some insight into the creative process for those on the trip. I believe travel opens ones mind to those opportunities.
My beginning painting teacher Tony Wong replied "travel" to my question "what should I do to become an artist?" It was one of those questions that no one ever wants to ask. His straight and honest answer has stuck with me. One of those little sign posts along the path. I've had several of those in my life. They provided simple advice that seems to grow brighter the older I get.
When I am presented the opportunity to head off, I do. It's a mini-reinvention of the sense of self. That sense that guides one along that path. I still hate shutting my studio down, washing the brushes. I'll come home and everything will have changed, again.