Living and Painting on the Road: How a Camper Van Made My Summer Dream Possible // 30 Days 30 Paintings

Living and Painting on the Road: How a Camper Van Made My Summer Dream Possible // 30 Days 30 Paintings

(Pinned Post) August 2022 // Two years ago, the idea of spending a summer painting while road- tripping was just a dream.

It all started with my husband, who had been trying to convince me to get a camper van since we met 10 years ago. I wasn’t into it back then - the idea of living in a sardine can, going from place to place to camp, bathing with baby wipes and having to cook with minimal equipment… it sounded cringy to me.

But when Covid happened and the future of travel started looking complicated, he made his big move. “It’s the perfect solution” he kept saying.... and suddenly I starting to see the possibilities. 

I realized it would offer me a front row seat to the artistic lens I was seeking, I could use my experiences as the backdrop for my landscape paintings. And I could continue painting, regardless of what was happening in the world.

It also gave us access to another dream we have been working on ~ being closer to our northern friends and families for part of the year.

We could save our money to pay for the trip, and take the trip. We have no kids, no big responsibilities tying us to any particular place. We can each work from the road. 

So why not. ?

We decided to take the plunge.

Fast forward to now and we’ve been on the road for two months in this very small space with each other and a cat and a bunch of art supplies strapped down anywhere we can fit them. We've seen tons of things we've never seen, and learned a lot about ourselves. It’s been amazing, creatively inspiring, life affirming, and hilarious. It's also been logistically challenging, inefficient, and testy. We’ve had to brush up on our problem solving and communication skills and give each other "space" when it's physically impossible to do so.

Coming unplugged has allowed us to imagine other opportunities and ways of living that we can explore together on this sail around the sun. That Appalachian Trail dream? I'm into it now. Scott and Helen Nearing's Living the Good Life concept? I could get into that. Living in a van and making art? I now know I can do this. There are so many other interesting options that could be dreams worth trying, worth fighting to come true. It's exciting to imagine what could be next, and that, in addition to making tons of art, is what I have been doing every day this summer.

Read "Less is More ~ Living in a Van" to learn more about our experience adapting to life in a 120 square foot van for 2 months.

You can also check out more insights about the art I've made during the road trip in some of my other posts on Art Notes. Check them out here.  


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