Welcome to Armchair Travels, an invitation to travel around the world through the reportage illustration of Studio 1482. We have gathered art from our travels to share with you in the hopes that, while you can’t get out and see these places (yet), our experiences may bring some happiness and light to your day. Please check back often as we will be posting new adventures weekly. Enjoy New York’s Hudson Valley…by Dominick Santise
The following text was written in reaction to looking through the art that accompanies it. The watercolors included have been done, sometimes rapidly and in quick succession, sometimes with great time in between, over the years living along the Hudson River. They are all done instinctively without hesitation or much planning: There are few actions in life that elicit as broad a range of thoughts for me as the idea of travel does. Long before we walked this earth our ancestors made their way from one location or another, for reasons big and small. Some only ventured a few miles from the place of their birth in their entire lifetime, some traveled to the moon and back. Traveling as an adult has been significantly more revealing than when I was a child. The associations and questions are compounded with every turn as distant cities—lands of poetry and prose—call out fantasy and reality with each step, and roots growing with each return voyage.
Growing up along the Hudson I was always fascinated with the legends that echoed through the Valley. Ichabod Crane, Rip Van Winkle and countless tales from the Revolutionary War. I had visited historic Olana long ago but it took a decade away and an inexplicable force pulling me to the Hudson River School paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art really open my eyes.
It wasn’t until I returned north that I realized just how literal some of Frederic Church and his contemporaries were. As I crossed bridges and rode along the river heading into Manhattan, I saw all of the paintings I had to leave the valley to find in books and on the walls of the Met. Ironic considering I grew up climbing to the top of a mountain outside my back door that Church may very well have captured way off in the distance in one of his paintings.
We are living through rather interesting times. While travel is often the subject of Instagram feeds and the life of the rich and famous, it is also one of those equalizing essentials that is often overlooked. Whether it is a daily commute along one of the nations greatest rivers or a journey to one of those far off lands captured by the art school that bears its name, the Hudson is always in my heart. I took it with me to France and London and brought back pieces from each of those locations to add to my life here. The clouds in Florida are hard to compete with after a daily storm, but as I drive west looking over the mountains I stop in awe—true to the marrow awe. I promise Charles, I am full of awe. Somehow friends and family who never had roots here, call this home. And I have known many who have left and never returned. We take for granted the distances we have come in our lives. We look to far off adventures but often fail to connect with where we started. I consider myself fortunate to have been to the places I have, and I hope to continue those travels as soon as I possibly can.