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"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."

- Paul Hawken

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Sea Story aboard
the “Vision”

There is navigation
But no plot
For all depends on
Unseen elements--
The entrance of wind,
The rise and fall of swells.
Jazz-like we improvise
Our journey.

To sleep on the sea,
Eat with the rock
and sway, little seen lives
curving under us,
Landfall becomes punctuation
Marking a pause.
A comma,
Amid the liquid language
Of the ever shifting water

Containing us all
The Vision moves forward
From point to point—
Anchorage to anchorage,
The harbor only a dot
at the end of the sentence.

-Carol Whitehill
Student aboard our 2007 journey










Field Trips and Excursions

Calm & Inspiring Trip, 2009

Our May 2009 excursion to the Channel Islands was a great success. The weather was the best ever with calm crossings and a lovely full day on San Miguel Island, plus hikes on Santa Rosa Island and Anacapa. More photos to come on our Flickr site soon! Thanks for joining us, journalers!

2009 Class

illustrated map by Christina Lopp

drawing on board "Vision"

hiking, break for lunch & painting

our docent teaching about the birds on Anacapa

our zodiac boat, the main transportation to the islands

more drawing onboard Vision

beautiful calm waters around Santa Cruz Island

lots of room to draw on board!

Vision Bunks

Vision's bunks are below deck

Vision vanity

Vision's shared bathroom with two showers (with hot water) and two sinks


May 24 - 26, 2010
CANCELLED due to low enrollment

Here is the information if you are interested in the future.

Illustrated Watercolor Journaling excursion to the Channel Islands National Park is off the coast of Santa Barbara, California for three days and nights of drawing, painting, hiking, kyaking, snorkeling and cruising on and around the rugged islands.

We will be motoring aboard Truth Aquatic's boat "Vision" a 88-foot long dive boat to visit California's Channel Islands. This boat is an alternative to the floating hotel-like atmosphere of cruise ships, this type of cruising offers a more intimate communion with the ocean and its creatures. We will be staying on board in simple bunks below deck with open berthing, with pillows, blankets, privacy curtains and reading lights provided.

We are chartering the boat Vision for a three-day journey on and around these islands May 24 - 26, 2010, teaching our Illustrated Watercolor Journaling class and getting lots of practice drawing the beautiful nature all around us. We will have a naturalist and docent on board to escort us onto parts of the island that very few people ever see with plenty of time to sketch and paint images of our journey.

The Channel Islands are truly an experience in untouched natural beauty; incorporating hundreds of miles of unspoiled island coastlines and species of wildlife found nowhere else on earth. Each individual island has its own charm, lore, wildlife and geography. It is a perfect place to sketch and paint, with all the unique flora and fauna to capture in your journal with your unique vision of your journey.

Cost: $675 (Save $25 if you register and pay in full by December 31, 2009; $650)

Register online

Cost includes three night's stay aboard Vision, three wonderful meals a day on Monday, Tuesday and two on Wednesday before we arrive back in Santa Barbara around 5pm (plus great snacks, desserts, and coffee, tea and drinks throughout the trip). Cost also includes several short classes in quick sketch, blind contour, watercolor techniques, journal layout and other drawing techniques as well as lots of one-on-one instruction with instructors if requested. Paper, pens and watercolors will be available for use from our class set. You might want to bring a journal, pens and watercolors of your own. We will have some supplies for sale on board as well.

Not included in the cost: Tip for crew (somewhere around $50 for 3 days) and dinner on Sunday night in Santa Barbara.

Basic Intinerary

Sunday, May 23, 2010

  • We recommend visiting our favorite art supply store, “Art Essentials” for any last minute art supplies (which closes at 5pm on Sundays even though their website says it closes at 4pm)
  • We can recommend a restaurant if you'd like to meet other class members before joining us on the boat.
  • 8:00pm: Join us at the Santa Barbara Harbor to board the Vision. 8pm is the earliest anyone can board the boat.

Monday, May 24, 2010

  • At 4am (while we all sleep) the Vision will leave the Harbor and head out to our first island.
  • At 8am we will arrive, have breakfast, pack our lunch for our first hike and have our first drawing lesson either on board, or on the shore of whichever island we arrive at. We will hike and do quick sketches along the way of the flora and fauna.
  • Dinner will be back on board Vision after the hike. An evening drawing/painting lesson in the galley. Travel to another either in the evening or the next morning depending on weather.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

  • Breakfast on board Vision, excursions onto another island, including more drawing & painting demos.
  • Lunch on the Vision. Afternoon lesson on color.
  • Dinner on the Vision and sharing.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

  • Travel to another island
  • Excursions onto the island for hiking, kayaking in the bay, etc.
  • Another lesson on topics not yet discussed, demos and sharing.
  • Leave islands around 2:30pm, arrive back in Santa Barbara Harbor around 5pm.

Register online


"Jack and I had such a wonderful time on our trip with you to the Channel Islands. We were pleasantly surprised to see so many whales, dolphins, and seals which our great boat crew drew to our attention. The food onboard was as fabulous as you promised. It was great to have Inga to provide us with education on all the plants and other wild life on land. I will never forget the hike into Lobo Canyon and all its beauty.

As usual, you made us all feel comfortable with any attempt to capture our experience with pen and water color, and added to our knowledge and confidence. You even got my husband to attempt to give drawing and painting a try! He had not picked up pen or paint to draw since grade school."
-- Gail and Jack McKay, students on the 2005 trip

Special trip cancellations: Because of the nature of special trips, such as the chartered boat to the Channel Island trip, cancellations must be made 60 days in advance. If a cancellation is made more than 60 days in advance, you will receive a full refund minus a $25 processing fee. Any cancellation made less than 60 days in advance of the beginning of the trip will receive a 50% refund. Any cancellation made after 30 days in advance of the beginning of the trip will not receive a refund.

Channel Islands
Student drawing from Inspiration Point on East Anacapa Island, 2008 trip

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