Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hola from Leon, Nicaragua!

When last I posted, I was just landing in Idaho after driving across the country with my dog and cat in the midst of winter - we made it just fine, but I surely would not recommend a repeat.  Idaho already had a lot of snow, and continued to receive more every day.... it is lovely, but when it gets too deep to snowshoe readily, everyone is ready to move onto Spring, lol!

This photo is out my back door with a full moon....

I spent most of the 4 weeks I was there unpacking, including my new playroom - it has yet to be finished as you can see, but I do have most of it organized in my head as to where to put everything.... at least I think I do!

The only piece of art I made was my first (and thus far only) entry into an art journal which is part of a year-long online course with Gina Rossi Armfield.  We were to pick a spirit animal (and boy, was I surprised when mine arrived, lol!), a number, a word, and a color.... here is my result, largely watercolor with some gel pens.  One of my goals this year is to improve at both drawing and watercolors.... 

I left to conduct my research into public health nursing in Leon, Nicaragua on January 17th, arriving the next day.  I am fortunate to be staying with good friends who run the organization which supports many faculty-student trips here, providing lodging with local families, translation, transportation to the clinics and other places where the students go for clinical training..... I have no students with me this time, as I am here for 5 weeks, for my research and also more intensive immersion in Spanish lessons, which I surely need!  I've been bringing students here for many years, but never long enough to get proficient.  This picture is from the balcony next to my room....

And since I couldn't realistically bring my art journal (which is a daily planner with lots of fun fold-outs and inserts, per Gina's approach), I settled for a small set of Windsor Newton paints (and also the small round palettes recommended by Butterfly), and a a small watercolor journal.

I will not be journaling daily, but hope to capture some of the sights around this beautiful city (and country).... whilst (hopefully) improving my artistic skills somewhat.  Below is one of the more famous churches in Leon (which has many), La Iglesia de la Recoleta (Church of the Recollection).

I made a quick ink and watercolor sketch from a photo I took while walking this afternoon.  I clearly need work on perspective and scale, but it was wonderful to play with paints in the meantime!  Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've a minute, please do leave a comment, as I love to hear from you!
xxx Lynn


  1. Gosh Lynn, you certainly have had an adventurous life these last few weeks and what you are doing in N. research wise sounds such a worthwhile project. I love all the art you have shown, the journal page with that amazing snake is so impressive and your water colour studies look amazing too! Have a fantastic time!

  2. Goodness, Lynn, you are on a wanderlust spree at the moment! From snowy Idaho to sunny Nicaragua - it sounds like quite the contrast. Your research sounds fascinating and, as Astrid says, so worthwhile, and I wish you luck with the language learning (Spanish is at least easier than Czech!). So happy to see the watercolours are with you after creating that incredible snake (love the figure 5 too), and they're already doing good service on your travels. Your study of the church is lovely - never mind perspective, it captures the intricate elegance of the architecture, and the warmth of the sun on the stone.
    Alison x

  3. Sounds a great experience, Lynn! No doubt your creativity will be fed by these new land and human meetings.

  4. What a great post Lynn! I love the view from your back door, it is stunning! As for the snake, it looks terrifyingly real (I am so afraid of them...) and I love your craft room, it looks wonderful. As Alison has already said, forget the perspective, your drawing is amazing and I too, love the warm tones. I hope the research goes well and good luck with the Spanish, I guess living there for a while will help! Anne xx

  5. Love your spirit animal page Lynn, what a magical journey it must have been over that time you spent learning the water colours and drawing techniques. I am enjoying your photos of Nicaragua and your drawing of the building is amazing! The heat there must have been quite a shock after leaving your five feet of snow. Something I am really jealous about by the way. I am completely off kilter here without our snow. Every day I bolt out of bed and run to the window, and every day my heart sinks as I look at the brown dismal world outside. Winter is my favourite season and I can't tell you how unmotivated all this brown makes me. Thank goodness for my craft room! lol. I hope you have a wonderful trip, look forward to your updates! hugs :)

  6. Gosh you have been busy haven't you! What a beautiful view from your back door - it looks like a very peaceful place to live. Your research in Nicaragua sounds very interesting and it's great you are getting some art done too - the little watercolour is delightful and it looks like you've really captured the atmosphere and character of the building beautifully. Enjoy the rest of your trip,
    Diana x

  7. You are such a rockstar! This post made my heart smile. Can't wait to follow your journey in Nicaragua and beyond! I'll surely be living vicariously through your posts for the weeks you are there! Sending many positive vibes your way!

  8. I do hope you'll find time for more watercolor sketches, you picked a marvelous subject and if you add your written impressions, dates/locations it will become the makings of a fine travel journal documenting your experience. What a journey you've had so far (along with your furry friends) and such a contrast, too, given the snow and tropics! I pass along a website that you may enjoy regarding plein air sketching, perhaps it may inspire:

  9. Congrats on your move and trip. LOVE the journal spreads and what a talent you the gorgeous church and in! Enjoy your trip!

  10. Yes, the snow and title of the post confused me at first :), Exciting times and the watercolour is beautiful...something I must practice too. Ruth xx