Last weekend, Ulan and I took off for a few days to Troutdale, where we stayed at McMenamin’s Edgefield location. For those of you who don’t live in the Pacific North West, chances are you may have never heard of McMenamin’s before. They have an eclectic mix of pubs, bars, historic hotels, and music venues throughout Oregon and Washington. Edgefield is my favorite location because it is only an hour drive from Silverton and makes the perfect getaway where you can fill your cup with inspiration, and there are endless things to paint.
There are no televisions or phones in the rooms at their hotels, which makes it feel even more like an escape from reality. Whimsical art covers the walls and doorways, and every room has it’s own theme.
Guests are given large white bathrobes to wear to the community bathrooms, since the guest rooms don’t have any. It makes the experience feel more like a fancy college dormitory, and it is common to see guests walking in their robes through the gardens from the soaking pool, or to the nearest bar to fill their growlers.
It is a great place to work on a project, write, or just think, away from the typical day-to-day lifestyle. If I could, I would make it up here a few times a year and spend more time, but the two nights we stayed was perfect. You can spend the entire day painting, soak in the heated salt water pool, then walk the gas lamp-lit walkway to the Black Rabbit restaurant for dinner. End the night with a flick at their cozy movie theater, or listen to live bands play in their wine cellar. (I would move in if i could).
Though it sounds like it, I am not writing this post to promote Edgefield. Instead, I believe it is important to figure out what kinds of experiences fill your cup. Whether you are an artist, or not is irrelevant. Making the time to take little trips around your local area is a great way to do that.
It can be so easy to fall into the daily routine and only dream about the far off places we can travel “some day”. But being a tourist in your own region can be just as fulfilling, if not more so. Throughout my twenties, I followed my wanderlust across the country, and across the globe. I have not nearly seen as many places I had on my list when I was 17, but I have seen and done so much. I have to pinch myself at times when I realize where I am and how I got here.
The last couple of months have been hectic with teaching and longer term studio projects, so it felt good to just set up and paint something quick. I found a quiet little corner in the library and set to work.
I liked the warmth of the red interior with the cool light out the window, with some of that cool light flooding indoors by the reflection on the table. We had enough light to paint for about two hours in this location. Once the light was gone, I stopped working on it, and I didn’t finish it in the studio, which sometimes can be tempting. There is something fresh about all that in the moment thinking and quick decisions that I like to look back on. There is nothing better than spending an afternoon chasing the light with intense focus, and then relaxing with a glass of wine and a good meal afterwards, observing the day’s work. It’s not my best painting, but I am happy with small things that I got right.
I’m curious! What keeps your cup full? Let me know in the comments below, what inspires you and motivates you to do whatever it is you love doing.
Have a great week!