I really enjoyed every opportunity I had to paint while on vacation. Most of the time, this took place beside a hotel pool after a day of sightseeing and activities, but I was able to paint on location in San Simeon, California, and at Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Today I thought I’d share a few of the sketches and paintings I completed while travelling.

oleander | Angela Fehr watercolours

First up is this 5″ x 7″ watercolour of the pretty flowers beside our favourite pool in Lake Havasu City. I didn’t know what kind of flowers they were until one of my watercolour students saw the painting on my Facebook page and said they looked like oleanders. I googled it, and they are. They sure don’t grow here in northern British Columbia! “Pink Oleander” is available for sale in my etsy shop.

palms | Angela Fehr watercolours

Same pool, different viewpoint. We lived near coconut palms in Papua New Guinea when I was growing up, and were well trained to never sit under a coconut tree for fear of getting hit by a falling coconut. I didn’t see any coconut palms on this trip, just these more decorative varieties.

san simeon sketch 5x7 | Angela Fehr watercolours

I had forgotten until my husband pointed it out that we had staying in San Simeon, California, before. We drove through California when we were first married, I think in 2001. It’s such a quiet little village and the beach is peaceful. I even surprised a little seal on my morning walk along the beach.

san simeon sketch large | Angela Fehr watercolours

We came back and walked along the beach at sunset, which inspired this painting. This is my favourite painting from the trip, even with that little drip along the edge, an artistic touch courtesy of the California wind.

san simeon sunset | Angela Fehr watercolours

Earlier in our trip (I’m not exactly sharing these in order), we drove through Sedona, Arizona. A sick child and tight schedule meant we didn’t have time to explore off the highway, but we stopped a couple of times so I could snap photos of what is arguably the most beautiful place in Arizona.

sedona cliffside | Angela Fehr watercolours

Even though these studies are flawed and awkward, they will help me interpret my reference photos when I am working in the studio and trying to remember the feeling and realities of visiting these beautiful places in the United States.

sedona viewpoint | Angela Fehr watercolours