Ojai Valley Guide Summer 2020

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Master artist teacher, Glenn Vilppu with fellow artists from around the world on board the AmaSerena.

paintings would mix with rain drops for an interesting painting pattern patina on their paper. Vilppu’s students find humor and admiration in their teacher, who is known for his minimal sketching supplies all fitting in his shirt top pocket. A tiny Altoids can for watercolor pallets, a fountain pen, a foam pen brush and a charcoal and graphite pencil. Over the years, artists adapt their own means of traveling with art supplies, from Ziplock plastic bags to unique backpacks full of inventive creations. When in port, they walked with Vilppu or did their own thing, roaming the quaint villages along the Rhine at their own pace. It was a special

experience for the artists to be with each other and have the same interest. They were all looking for something to capture and express in their journals. By the end of the day, their sketchbooks were filled with their impressions of memories from the day. Some would even bring their journals to capture the evening entertainment of dancing onboard—which was quite a hoot. It was astonishing to see the artists’ interpretations of the same site. The massive gothic Cologne Cathedral spires, layered with intricately carved details, seemed almost impossible to quick-sketch, especially on a walking tour. But the outdoor plaza restaurant overlooking the cathedral was the

perfect refuge spot to enjoy a cold brewski and set up shop to capture the view. It was also great for people -watching and made for whimsical character sketches too. Every day was a different port or cruising the scenic Rhine. One entire day, they cruised for miles passing castles, cascading vineyards, animals grazing and the Loreley rock. We sailed under bridges and through and up several locks that were always a scientific wonder. The locks were a time to pause while the entire ship felt like a floating elevator. Each port had its own unique story, architecture and culture. There were times when one side of the Rhine was France and the other side was