I recently had the opportunity to attend a Yoga Retreat at Maya Tulum in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The resort focuses on getting back to nature with huts on the beach surrounded by the Mexican jungle. It reminded me a bit of camping except with a bed! After a few days I got used to living without things like hairdryers and WiFi and spent a lot of time enjoying the beauty that surrounded me.
My time there also gave me a great opportunity to get out my sketchbook and a basic watercolour palette I had brought with me. Many times on vacation I bring my supplies with the intention to sketch but trips away can somehow get a little busy with many things to see and do. With this particular trip, the pace was much slower which enabled me to sketch a bit here and there.
Sketching en plein air is always challenging but particularly so when you are surrounded by so many things you would like to capture in your sketch. Sometimes I will do a bigger scene like the beach scene below which I worked on while I sat eating lunch at the restaurant. And other times I will do little quick sketches of things that catch my eye like the beautiful lines in the big rocks that surrounded the shore or the vibrant green spiky plants that grew outside my casita turning my book around to sketch in different spots on the paper.
I also included my palette in this picture as I had to laugh when one day I was sketching on the beach and a big gust of wind blew my little palette into the sand. At first I was upset that my watercolours would be ruined but then I thought how wonderful it was to have beach sand in my palette! A great memory of my trip and who knows, it could quite possibly provide some texture in future paintings.