A virtual cooking class on wheels, the RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little known RV locales then creates a healthy, easy destination-related RV recipe in host Evanne Schmarder's RV kitchen. Tune in to our RV TV...it's always delicious!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Joy of Being an Artist on the (RV) Road

Donna and her husband Jeff pulled in next to us not too long ago. They were our neighbors for a couple days before we had an opportunity to chat. Once we did we became fast friends. Donna told me she was an artist and invited me in to show me some of her work. Wow - I was extremely impressed. Prior to seeing her work we were talking about careers and ways to make money on the road. Once I saw her art I knew she'd never be at a loss...she's amazingly talented. Donna graciously agreed to pen a few articles about being an artist on the road  - in her case in a trusty Airstream Travel Trailer. Enjoy this, her first installment - Evanne - RV Cooking Show

For the past 3 years my husband and I have been fulltime RVers and can’t imagine a more wonderful life. I am a fabric artist, my husband a writer, poet, composer and musician at this point in our lives. The places that inspire my artistic vision are often in places we could never afford to buy but RVing affords moments of these to absorb, enjoy and take away in memory. The changing of place and surroundings, the seaside spot overlooking a bay, the sunsets are visuals that encourage me to look at color, shape and hue. Inspiration from nature outside our back window continually nourishes my creativity and appreciation for this lifestyle.

My ‘studio’ consists of any spot available but primarily the table where the wrap-around windows allow me light and view. My previous art studio was a 14x18 foot room so the conversion to smaller projects was a must and a challenge since we live in a 27’ Airstream Travel Trailer. You might wonder how I made this work.

Here is how I did it: When we began our fulltime adventure I brought almost all of my fabric (hard to imagine!) and placed them by colors in 4 snap top containers; they live in the truck bed under the truck cover along with one box of other necessary tools. There is also a small art bin of paints (watercolor and fabric) as well as a container of beads - I am a long time beader and do mixed media pieces.

In the coach, whom we call Lily, is the art work(s) in progress plus a number of finished pieces. This consumes much of the under-the-bed space with an iron pad, etc. and Bernina 440QE sewing computer (when not in use) on my side of the bedroom walkway. As you may be able to extrapolate, my husband is incredibly supportive of my art endeavors – a real must in such a cozy space.

It’s no surprise that flexibility is the key to RVing so I take this to include “doing yoga” while I cut fabric on the floor or have to contort my body to squeeze in and out of my sewing space. This often means across my beloved’s lap and his small classical guitar when he is playing. It brings ‘mindfulness’ to our life; in more ways than one.

I try to remember to take a moment, breathe in and breathe out and feel grateful for how lucky we truly are to have this ever-changing, adventurous life filled with love, freedom, art and new friends.

Next time I’ll share with you the challenges of creating my art while on the road in my RV.

Donna Hamson Cooney is a multimedia fabric artist who may be contacted at DonnaHCooney@yahoo.com

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