August and September are times when many people think of travel, and travel makes me think of travel sketches.
There is a particular pleasure in travel sketches; they carry a personal view and flavor quite unlike travel photographs, in that the artist is showing you their vision and feeling for the place and time in addition to a representation of its appearance.
Junko Ono Rothwell, an artist based in Georgia in the Southeastern U.S. has posted a number of her travel sketches in watercolor and pastel on her web site. These are from her visits to Italy (above, left), France (above, right) and Ireland.
Her sketches bring to bear her experience in painting landscapes in both oil and pastel. Her landscapes here in the U.S. often focus on marshlands and small streams, both Groegia and on the mid-Atlantic coast.
Her pastel renderings make good use of the textural characteristics of the medium, which lies somewhere between painting and drawing, and she brings some of that surface texture into her oil painting to very nice effect, with textural paint strokes and a wonderful use of broken color.
Rothwell studied in Japan at Okayama University and in the U.S. at Cornell. Her work has been in exhibitions and collections in both the U.S. and Japan and has been featured in a number of books and magazine articles on pastel, floral painting, and landscape.
Rothwell’s landscapes are done en plein air (see my recent post on pochade boxes), catching the fleeting atmospherics and light only available to the painter’s eye on location, just as she captures the immediate feeling of of a foreign place and time in her travel sketches.