Processing a Journey

How does one take an experience, like a journey to ancient ruins in a colorful, foreign land and process all the sights, sounds, tastes, feelings and emotions that such an evocative journey inevitably provokes?  Many of us take photographs, publish them on social media, tell our friends about the highlights and maybe relish trinkets or clothing we picked up along the way.

There are our memories, too.  We can always revisit experiences in our mind's eye, reliving the rush of excitement and exhilaration of new people and places.  Sometimes I wish I could share these moments with those around me in ways other than photographs and stories.

Our world is becoming more and more a visual experience.  With social media leading a visual revolution (Instagram, I'm looking at you) it seems that our form of communication is changing.  We are developing a global language, not of words, but of images.  These images communicate feelings and experiences in a common form across border and boundaries.  In other words, imagery is dissolving the barrier of words thanks to the proliferation of the internet.

Painting is a type of visual communication.  A photograph communicates the visual perspective of a moment.  It is a document of truth, verifying a point in time as seen by the picture taker.  A painting can communicate the details of a moment, but the elements at the painter's disposal are beyond just the tangible.  A painter can express the hidden parts, the sensations that go beyond the visual, partially because with painting one can bend reality.

The Kiss  (Lovers), oil and gold leaf on canvas, 1907–1908. Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

The Kiss (Lovers), oil and gold leaf on canvas, 1907–1908. Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

With color choice, juxtaposition of figures and forms, abstraction or ultra realism the painter can morph a real moment from the natural world to the spiritual with the flick of the brush.  Arguments can be made that photography can be equally as abstract.  Color, figure and form are also available to the photographer.  Yet I feel that painting crosses that line more profoundly than photography.  It allows for more flexibility and somehow more of the intangible.

This month Chic Travels would like to explore expression through painting.  Perhaps together we can learn how to take those moments in life that fill us up and give us something to talk about, like a new travel experience, and transform them into a work of art.  By painting, talking to artists and exploring others work I hope to gain insight into this most fascinating of visual mediums.

Would you like to join me on this painting journey?  How has the demand for images changed the way you communicate?  Which medium allows you more flexibility?  Join the conversation and let me know your thoughts in the discussion section below.