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Art and Travel

An Artist’s Journey with VBT
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Trish W. of Benbrook Texas has painted her way through quite a discourse, Traveling with VBT. For the past three years Trish has been drawing on the inspiration she finds in VBT’s biking vacations to paint vivid landscapes of all the vistas she can capture.

Finding Her Calling and Finding it Again
Trish found her love for art when she was very young. In fact, at only two years of age Trish began drawing and painting on her first canvas, the walls of her home. When it became clear that this was less of a phase and more of a calling, Trish’s parents developed a unique approach to fostering Trish’s creative drive while giving a bit of a break to the walls around the house. She recalls, “My parents eventually decided to put up chalk boards all around the house for me to draw on.”

Trish continued drawing and painting throughout her childhood and eventually received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing at the University of Texas. She followed that degree with a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at Texas Women’s University. Though she is proficient in many artistic disciplines, Trish has devoted most of her life’s work to painting portraits. That is, until a friend recommended VBT’s Puglia Vacation. Trish took her friend up on the adventure and discovered an entirely new muse, the outdoors. “On the bike you see things you wouldn’t ordinarily notice and that appeals to me as a painter… and the scenery can be so majestic. I still love to paint faces, but now I really love painting places, too.”

Experiencing the Destination
Trish began traveling with VBT in 2009. Since then, she’s kept up quite a pace, Biking in Ireland in 2010 and California Wine Country in 2011. And she’s already made plans to take two VBT vacations in 2012, Biking Vermont and Cycling Tuscany.

It’s no wonder that she has taken such an interest in traveling with VBT. For Trish, vacations are all about enjoying the experience. “Once I started traveling with VBT by bike I decided that that was the only way to go. I’ve always felt safe, it’s wonderful how well thought out the trips are, and I love it when someone else does all the detail work.” Given her vocation as a painter, Trish also enjoys the flexibility to peel off from the group at any time to snap as many photos as she likes, using the photographs as models for her paintings.

When riding through a new destination, Trish tends to connect with local animals about as much as she does local people. Her work is a testament to how inspired she is by wildlife and nature. But, connecting with fellow travelers also has its benefits. Throughout her journeys, Trish is constantly painting, and she’ll often trade her work for a glass of wine or two. She even got a massage in exchange for one of her pieces. A glass of wine and a massage? What a way to cap off a great day of biking!

Looking Back and Looking Ahead
VBT’s emphasis on connecting travelers with their destination certainly rings true for Trish. “Ireland was my favorite. All my ancestors come from Ireland, and as soon as I got there, it felt like I was coming home. And biking through Ireland was such a wonderful experience. Every turn presented a new vista.”

Where to next? With two biking vacations coming up in 2012, Trish has the coming year pretty well planned out. However, she is still looking ahead to more VBT vacations in the future. She would love to Explore France, perhaps by Biking in Loire Valley or Bicycling Bordeaux. And she may take her first walking vacation with VBT, through Machu Picchu.

Whichever she chooses, it seems clear that through her work, Trish will continue to inspire others just as she is impacted by the myriad of sights and experiences that VBT vacations have to offer. You can view more of Trish’s work on her website.

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