It’s A Travelogue Of The Beach: Daily Art Practice




Couch Talk


Today’s post is all about our summer vacation to the beach in Virginia. This is a picture of the home that we rented. It turned out to be lovely and clean, unlike the home that we rented at the same beach 2 years previous. Rentals can be a hit or miss and thankfully we have only had one rental that turned out to be a dud. When you pay to stay somewhere away from home, you don’t want to find hair and crustys between the sheets and on the floors. True story. We had a wonderful vacation, starting with a great rental and ending with my MIL’s birthday celebration. And of course, we were with family, and in my opinion, there is no other way to spend vacation!


Daily Art Practice


Today, I am sharing the completed pages from my sketchbook that I use to journal our travel adventures. This summer we visited the Historical Triad in Virginia, and it left me with so many memories to record. 

I, like many other artists, have a fear of failure when it comes to the blank page, a fear of “what if it doesn’t turn out?” or “what if people don’t like it?” I have recently identified this problem and realize that it has been holding me back from having experimenting and growing in my art. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be critical of my art, how else does one grow but to analyze one’s faults and make a change. But it does mean that I don’t need to get upset with myself when my expectations are not met.

The reason I say this is because the below painting of the beach on the right, is a disappointment. But instead of covering it up as I originally planned on doing, I am not only going to leave it alone, but I am also showing it to you. 



While at the beach, we took a walk and collected shells. My daughter brought them to me to keep safe for her, so I traced the outline and gave painting them a try. That was a lot of fun.



Colonial Williamsburg was a whole day event. I painted two other buildings, Tarpley, Thompson & CO. and the William Pitt Store if you happened to miss them. I hadn’t visited Williamsburg in over 20 years, and I found it had changed quite a bit. Funny how a child’s or even a teenager’s perception of the place is altered. This first layout is of the Govenor’s Palace, including the figurehead at the gate and a place setting at one of their tables. 



This next layout turned out to be my favorite. I painted it specifically for my StencilGirl Column. If you would like to see the process and the Stencils used, you can see it HERE. In this layout I included a bed from our tour of the Govenor’s Palace, a wheel from the Wheelwright’s Shop, a fashionable dress and ladies’ pocket from Tarpley, Thompson & CO and a tea tin (I didn’t purchase but photographed) and my favorite souvenir of the trip, a silver tea caddy spoon displaying an eagle. I used this spoon at least 9 times a day.



One of the newer additions to Williamsburg since my childhood, was the addition of the Art Museum. The exhibits included folk art, textiles and a lot of porcelain and tableware. I really enjoyed the various tea sets and dishes.



One day of our vacation was spent in Norfolk, VA. We took a cruise of the Elizabeth River on a clipper ship, the American Rover.



The Jamestown Settlement was another great site to learn history and experience the daily activities of the Powhatan Indians and colonist. Trained actors and historians demonstrated period activities and we could walk through a re-creation of the Paspahegh Village, Fort James and 3 replica ships, the Godspeed, Susan Constant, and the Discovery. This was one of my families favorite activities.



Of course, food is one of the best parts of traveling. Trying different foods and restaurants is exciting but I had one meal that topped it all, my first bowl of real ramen. After our cruise on the clipper ship, we were all quite hungry. We tried several different restaurants, and they were either too expensive or had no tables available. The food and dining tax in Virginia is 12% so taking a family to dinner of 4 adults and 1 child is around $ 120-140.  We stopped at one restaurant where the cheapest meal, even on the children’s menu was $25. No thank you. Our last choice was a restaurant called The Stockpot. My first thought was disappointment as I was thinking they only sold soups but to our surprise they didn’t. And we just happened to visit on Ramen Night! It was the most delicious bowl of ramen I ever had! (We usually eat it from the package). I still keep the memory of that ramen in my thoughts, and I look forward to seeking out more restaurants that serve it.



And that’s the last of our vacation to Virginia. I hope you enjoyed seeing it through my eyes and paint brush.


Tea Day


I am joining the Tea Day Ladies, hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard. I am sharing this gunpowder green tea, which is a favorite of mine.

Happy Tea Day,


8 thoughts on “It’s A Travelogue Of The Beach: Daily Art Practice”

  • Real ramen is amazing, isn’t it? You can’t even compare it to the packages I don’t think. I want to try making some at home, one day-smile. And your sketchbook from your vacation is amazing. Leaving a page I don’t like is difficult for me , but it is good to do it. I always tell myself that art is “homemade”,for lack of a better word, and therefore it won’t be perfect. But your journal is amazing. I’m glad you shared it. have a super T day and week ahead Kate. hugs-Erika.

  • Your trip looks fantastic. You did so many really wonderful things: beaches, museums, historic sites, ship rides… I love your images of these.
    best, mae at

  • Hi Kate, thanks for sharing your disappointment page, because I like it! I think it captures your day at the beach in the moment. I also love your other pages of course, you are so talented. Happy T Day! Elle xx

  • You are way too critical of you skills. You created an awesome travel journal. Each page is such a delight of what you saw and did. I almost feel like I was with you. Happy T Day

  • Kate I absolutely LOVED seeing your Virginia vacation through your paintings. What a marvelous idea. I don’t have a favorite because they are all wonderful. Yes i often have to remind myself that not everything i do HAS to be a masterpiece. I do it because i love to create art. Its fun.. i enjoy it.. I have to say through hard work i have evolved. I’m much better at cutting myself a break and braver by showing my artwork even if it didn’t come out as planned.. Most of the time your just disappointed because it didn’t come out looking what you had in your head.. But nobody else can see what you have in your head so they will just take it at face value and thats usually pretty good! 🙂 Happy T day ! Hugs! deb

  • Oh my gosh – your travel book is AMAZING! Every page is a delight. My favorite is the food picture (of course), but everything is done so well including your handwriting. Super Wow, Kate. Happy late T-day and hugz

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