Studies have revealed that Americans tend to avoid vacations due to fear of losing their jobs or simply feeling they can’t do so, but we’re here to say that you deserve some time away.
We have pointed out how a study shows that time off is important to work productivity and mental wellness, yet most people have a “martyr” complex that makes them believe they’re the only one who can do their job, causing four out of 10 Americans to not use their vacation time.
However, in this article from CNN, it is reported that taking a vacation away from your normal setting has a myriad of benefits, from simply refreshing your mind to seeing and learning new things.
Park West Gallery artists are accustomed to traveling, and if any further proof is needed for the benefits of a vacation, just listen to what some of our artists have to say about getting away.
Taking in new scenery
Soaking up the atmosphere of a different environment is nice, but it’s also important. Detaching from a familiar environment can help gain new perspectives on everyday life.
Viktor Shvaiko is known for his intimate, beautiful paintings of European cafes and locales. His favorite country to visit is Italy, where he can admire the ancient art, architecture, food and history. Shvaiko says he is only able to paint by traveling instead of staying cooped up.
“It helps me to come to the studio and to continue to paint,” he says.
His wife, Valentina, can attest to the importance of getting away to refresh one’s creativity and mind.
“If [Viktor] is not traveling and he is just working in the studio, his painting is not alive,” she says.
Experiencing new cultures
Experiencing a lifestyle or culture on vacation can open up your mind to new ideas and build confidence, even if you aren’t leaving your own country for a getaway.
Autumn de Forest says she loves going out and enjoying a destination’s culture. She makes a habit of visiting a city’s museums in order to be inspired, such as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, or taking in the art during her trip to the Vatican.
“It’s about taking advantage of where you are, and the history or the fun and great experiences you can have there,” she says.
Marko Mavrovich finds that traveling establishes a firm base for his impressionistic art. Unless he is experiencing the sights, sounds and tastes for himself, he believes he can’t truly portray genuine feelings in a work.
“I’ll never paint a place, a town or a person unless I know them or I’ve walked the grounds or I’ve tasted the food,” he says. “I’d attempted to paint things from photographs, but it just didn’t look right. So when I’m able, I travel and choose my own compositions.”
Learning something new
Vacations are a great way to combine sightseeing and relaxation along with enhancing your own knowledge or skill set, whether it’s crafts, music or language.
Tim Yanke says a recent trip to Singapore exposed him to calligraphy, and he spent nearly two hours speaking with the artist about techniques, inks and brush types. He is excited about applying what he learned to his art.
“I’m chewing at the nut to start getting into this calligraphy because I like a brilliant, hard, vibrant black ink on a color or white paper,” he says.
Linda Le Kinff is a prime example of learning while abroad. She has learned everything from casein on wood in Florence to Sumi (ink wash painting) in Japan. Combined with her classic oil and acrylic painting, she has truly created her own style thanks to her trips abroad.
Meeting new people
Many Park West artists have said that meeting collectors from around the world have inspired them in their artwork, including Dominic Pangborn and David Le Batard, better known as Lebo. Who knows what you will discover when interacting with the locals on vacation?
Pangborn says meeting new people and hearing their impressions of his art motivates him, while Lebo says he is introduced to new ways of thinking and approaching art.
“Every time I meet new collectors I have new experiences, so to me it’s a very mutually rewarding experience,” Lebo says.
Catching up on reading
Vacations don’t always need to be a whirlwind of activity. In the CNN article, a literary agent talks about how great she felt after getting away and rereading some of her favorite books.
Patrick Guyton says when he isn’t exploring new ways of metal leafing when traveling, he is often reading or rereading his favorite books, such as “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” a biographical novel of Michelangelo.
“The good thing about traveling and spending time on planes is being able to read,” he says. “I’m also a geek for how-to’s…there is always something to learn.”