Every 5 Miles: Painting the Way of Saint James

EXCITING NEWS! The Kickstarter campaign for my incredible 1000 mile walking and plein air painting adventure "Every Five Miles: Painting the Way of Saint James" was fully funded!! Thank you so much to all the amazing backers that helped to bring this dream to life.

Not a backer? Scroll down for social media links and to find out more about the journey….

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Starting on September 1st, I will be painting every 5 miles as I walk 1000 miles with my donkey along the Way of St. James, sharing its unique sense of place through 200 plein air paintings.

If you are a backer, I have already contacted you to let you know how to join me on this journey online through daily, in-depth, behind the scenes updates.

If you aren’t a backer, you can still follow some of the journey online as I will be posting a weekly blog on this website and sharing some of the paintings on instagram, twitter and facebook.

Every 5 Miles: Painting the Way of Saint James

This September, I’ll be setting out to walk and paint the Way of Saint James (also known as the Camino de Santiago de Compostela). I’ll be walking 1000 miles through France and Spain alongside my donkey, Midas, and will be stopping to do a plein air painting every 5 miles along the entire route.

plein air landscape paintings in soft pastel by sharon bamber

The journey will take four months of walking and painting, crossing over the Pyrenees at the onset of winter. By the end of the journey, I’ll have created a series of 200 plein air paintings that tell the story of this ancient and powerful route as it is today, through the eyes of a contemporary artist.

pastel painting of old buildings on the Way of Saint James by sharon bamber

The entire budget for this adventure was raised by pre-selling the plein air paintings from the journey through my Kickstarter campaign, along with other paintings and rewards, and I’ve also received sponsorship from the wonderful Terry Ludwig Pastels, Ampersand Pastelbord and the ROAMShop in Nelson BC.

Why?

This is the question I get asked the most and my answer is all to do with connection. For over 25 years I’ve been fascinated by the concept of Sense of Place and how it arises from the intertwining of culture and nature, connecting us to the land. This route has been connecting Man with the landscape for centuries.

Combining plein air painting with walking will slow down today’s hectic pace of life. It will let the story of the landscape gradually unfold, allowing me to really engage with all the elements that create a sense of place.

sharon bamber painting en plein air in pastel

Plein air painting forces me to engage in the moment, frees me to leave the studio and fully experience nature; to really see and feel and connect. Painting from life, responding directly to the subject, is an addictive and exhilarating way of working and I really think this emotion and connection is reflected in the art.

People have felt the pull of this journey for thousands of years. Religious pilgrims have been drawn to it since 950 AD and before that, my ancestors the Celts. Among them have been painters, writers, poets.  I’ll be walking in places where ancient man painted on the walls of caves and where Sorolla painted some of his great works. Donkeys have been walking this route alongside pilgrims since the beginning, so Midas seems to be a perfect companion.

sharon bamber and donkey on Way of Saint James

By translating what I see into a visual pathway, I can share my conversation with the landscape and let viewers make their own connection, joining us all with the pilgrims, artists, and people that have walked this route before me.

If you aren’t a backer, don’t worry, you can still follow some of this journey online! I will be posting a weekly blog on this website, and posting some of the paintings on instagram, facebook and twitter. Click the buttons below to take a look!

 

sharon bamber and her donkey dupon on the 1000 mile walking and painting expedition

The 1000 Mile Walk

Register here if you'd like to be informed when the book of the journey, with all 200 paintings, is available. No commitment to purchase

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