Traveling Without Moving

In lieu of going places, the demand for art inspired by travel and wanderlust is at an all-time high.


by Heather Zises

“Mystery is not about traveling to new places but about looking with new eyes.” — Proust

Whether it’s learning a new language or studying a country’s history, travel allows us to enrich our knowledge about different cultures and ways of life. The history of travel dates back to antiquity where wealthy civilizations would travel for leisure to their summer homes and ornate villas. Fast-forward to the early 20th century, modern tourism was facilitated by the growth of the middle class and the development of automobiles and airplanes. These advancements allowed society to travel quickly to destinations so that they could enjoy the benefits of unplugging from the daily grind.

After more than a year of lockdowns and worldwide travel bans, global communities in 2021 are starved for travel having been stymied for so long. In lieu of going places, the demand for art inspired by travel and wanderlust is at an all-time high. For most collectors, buying art while traveling has practically been a prerequisite for any trip. Add in a pandemic, and our global collective is clamoring to acquire art that transports them to their favorite destination. Furthermore, collectors are willing to pay any price to fill this void which makes for a ripe market for artists whose works permeate the larger culture.

From beach scenes to travel photography to dreamy landscapes, we selected artists from our roster who invite the viewer on a journey as soon as their gaze meets the picture plane:

Enchanted Escapes

It’s easy to reimagine yourself in paradise when viewing an image of a tropical beach, a sensual seascape, or schooners gently gilding across a coast. Rightly so, many artists have sought to capture their favorite memories of summer and sultry destinations with a variety of media. RW Fuller, a California-based painter, explores a myriad of movements from Picassoid Cubism to Hockney-esque Pop Art rendering figurative beach scenes that hum along the canvas with vibrant colors and sharp diagonals. Featuring swimmers and sunbathers, each composition is a moment in stillness that captivates the viewer.

ARTTIANA, an Armenian artist raised in Moscow, paints expressionist maritime scenes in a symphony of blue pigments. Her canvases are populated with slender sailboats whose elongated sails are Giacometti-like in form.

American painter Nancy Holleran captures moments of life’s fleeting pleasures with a technical mastery of watercolors to recreate seascapes, coastlines, and beaches. Her use of light washes and transparent overlays combined with the nostalgic effects of photography transform her canvases into living registers of her subjects’ energy.

Travel Photography

Travel photography is arguably the most ubiquitous art form as anyone with a camera, or most likely an iPhone these days can capture a moment with the press of a button. However, professional photographers go the distance—literally—by producing jaw-dropping shots of nature, culture, and society, giving viewers art with a strong sense of place.

Vietnamese photographer Lê Phương Hiền captures crisp images of dramatic landscapes and seascapes in highly saturated colors. Her digital prints showcase unruly wisps of yellow grain growing in a field to the pleasing geometry of circular cisterns that inhabit a soy factory.

New England-born, Maine-based photographer markpizzaArt is an expert in combining multiple photographic memories to create multilayered, surrealistic compositions. His technicolor photo collages incorporate visuals of both city and rural landscapes with personal touches applied throughout each scene.

Dreamy Landscapes

Each person’s idea of a landscape may be different, but our connection to the land is universal. We are all grounded, quite literally, to indigenous environments that we hold dear as our corner of the Earth.

Sandra Guy’s kinship to the land began at an early age as the daughter of Australian geologists. Using a palette of burnt sienna, dusty rose, and indigo oils, the artist draws inspiration from her surroundings such as the Blue Mountains, the Snowy Mountains, and the Mid-North Coast. Braced with a surreal yet timeless edge, Guy’s intensely colored pieces capture heightened sublime moments expressed in big sweeping, dramatic skies, popping open the viewer’s senses.

Northern California-based artist Jerry Anderson’s paintings are an expression of his appreciation for the mysteries of life, the cosmos, and the continual dance of male and female energies. Informed by extensive travels to exotic locales like Morocco, Turkey, and the American southwest, his paintings explore manifestations of the archetypal female image. As a result, his works are infused with wonder and curiosity, revealing a sense of intimacy, spirituality, and the sublime.

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