In addition to art, travel has always been one of my passions. I’m not too picky about the destination; you name it, I’ll pack my bag. This year my travels have focused on the US where a certain type of journey has been popular for generations. I’m talkin’ about hitting the open highway.
The road: a rich and symbolic subject in our nation’s creative history. Muse to artists, photographers, song writers, authors, and more, the road never ceases to be alluring visually or metaphorically.
Ronald Primeau author of Romance of the Road says, “Americans are in love with roads and cars, and we celebrate this in song, literature, poetry, film, and video. There is a long history of Americans traveling the highway. It’s a sacred space, an epic quest. We all have our stories. Getting away is a chance at a new start, a time to discover self and country, glide through vast empty spaces and then come home to write or sing about the adventures.”
I recently came across a great blog about a road journey. After being let go from her 12-year video production job at General Motors, Sandi Wheaton traveled from Chicago to LA via Route 66.
With a Jeep, an Aliner trailer and a bunch of cameras including one using beautiful-but-now-obsolete Kodak black and white infrared film, this was a trip she’d wanted to take for years and finally she had the time. Like many artists out there, Sandi hopes to find a new path doing what she loves most: traveling, taking pictures and sharing what she discovers.
Regardless of the medium, what often comes of this type of soul searching journey is pure art. With little effort, you’ll find inspiring examples of road-inspired artistry all around you. If you’re new to the appeal of the road you’re sure to fall in love with this subject matter in a heartbeat.
Go ahead- plan a road trip, write a song, or add a painting or photograph of the road to your art collection today.