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Amy Dixon Art




Filtering by Category: Favourite Art Supplies

California Dreamin'

Amy Dixon

One of the biggest sources of inspiration for my art is travel. Whether it's spending a few weeks in Europe or taking a quick weekend jaunt to the mountains, there's nothing that fuels my painting more than getting out of town! About a month ago, my bestie (Marcelle) and I took a trip to California for just over a week. It was SO much fun to just laugh and drink and eat and paint. It was extra special because Marcelle lives on the other side of the country, so it was also a reunion :)

I spent a lot of time trying to decide what art supplies I would bring along. On my last trip (to Portugal) I brought WAY too much stuff and it ended up being really annoying to lug everything around. So this time I thought long and hard about what made the cut! In the end, this is what i settled on:

For the most part, all of these supplies worked really well for my impromptu painting stops along the trip. In particular, I LOVED the Sennelier sketch book. It's in an accordion format, which is really neat because you can either use one page, or paint across several pages. The weight of the paper (340 gram) held up great and I was able to paint on both sides with no issue. It's also a perfect size to throw in my purse without being clunky. It's definitely going to be my new go-to travel sketch book. 


We started off in San Francisco and over the course of 8 days we traveled down the coast to Santa Barbara. Basically, we did San Francisco - Santa Cruz - San Luis Obispo - Santa Barbara - San Francisco. We picked the spots strategically as hubs to explore the surrounding areas from. We had SO MUCH FUN! 

San Francisco

San Francisco was awesome - we didn't spend a ton of time there (so many places, so little time!) but what I did experience I really loved. The people were so nice too! It was super windy while we were there (like 45 miles/hour) which made some of our activities, like biking the Golden Gate bridge pretty interesting. I thought for sure I was going to blow away to my death. But it was still fun. The other big highlight was the FOOD. Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with food and eating out. Brunch and tacos in the Mission District were amazing. We also took a day trip up to Sonoma for a wine tour with Edge of the World Tours which was super fun (and tasty :) )


Santa Cruz

We picked Santa Cruz as a hub to explore all of the places surrounding it. While we were there we both fell in love with Verve coffee and Penny Ice Creamery - I'm a sucker for homemade ice cream. We checked out the board walk, sat around on the beach and relaxed. We also sneaked some breath taking hikes at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and  Big Basin Redwoods State Park . The redwoods are magnificent!

Big Sur

We were both really excited from the drive through Big Sur. This was probably my favourite part of the trip. The day started off pretty grey and cold, but thankfully it warmed up and the sky was blue by the early afternoon. We stopped at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve to check out the tide pools and search for sea lions and then did the 17 mile drive before hitting the road to Big Sur. The drive was phenomenal and so so so beautiful. I can't even describe it. Which is why I will paint it instead!


San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara

San Luis Obispo is a really quaint spot, with lots of good food and cute shops. We stayed at an AirBnB on a farm with the cutest goats that we got to feed every morning, which was surprisingly fun! We took a day trip down to Santa Barbara and explored, shopped, drank and painted. 

California was so fun, and I can't wait to go back. I've been painting up a storm - so stay tuned for some new pieces that will be up in the shop soon!