• Joel Popadics

Ten Places I’d Like to Paint Before I Stop

This list could really be twelve places I’d like to paint before I stop, but I can scratch off two from the list - the Parthenon in Greece, which I did in September 2018, and the Isle of Skye in Scotland that I will do this summer.


1. The Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt

My college art education began with the study of ancient Egypt but I didn’t fully appreciate monumental ruins until my trip to Greece. I’ve been told that I have a knack for doing rocks in nature, but I really enjoy painting rocks that are arranged by man, too.


2. Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada

The glacial, green-blue water of Lake Louise will finally give me the opportunity to use up some of those tubes of Thalo green and blue that I hardly ever get to use. Located within Banff National Park, Lake Louise is one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage sites. As part of the trip, it’d be nice to stay at the renowned Chateau Lake Louise Hotel, which is located on the lake’s shore.


3. Niagara Falls, Canada

The Paterson falls is near where I live in Wayne, NJ and I’ve painted it many times. It’s nowhere near the grandeur of Niagara but it has wet my appetite and appreciation for falling water. I really loved the film noir/thriller, “Niagara,” starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotton. After seeing the movie, I’ve always wanted to visit the falls and take a ride on Maid of the Mist.


4. Yellowstone National Park

I visited Yellowstone National Park with my family many years ago on a vacation, but I didn’t get a chance to paint the sights. I think it would be fun to paint the bubbling pots, geysers and steam rising from the volcanic vents. The intense colors in the scalding hot springs with names like “Grand Prismatic Spring” and “Morning Glory Pool” all look like abstract pictures and would make a terrific subject for a watercolor.


Thermal pools, Yellowstone National Park

5. The Grand Canyon

Like Yellowstone, my previous trip to the Grand Canyon was vacationing with family and I wasn’t able to sneak off and work. The beauty of the Canyon is truly breath taking and I imagine that it must be a challenge to paint. I’ve never quite experienced anything like the vibrant colors you see at sunrise and sunset.


Sunrise at the Grand Canyon

6. The Canals of Venice

I love all of John Singer Sargent’s watercolors of Venice, in particular his 1904 painting "Santa Maria della Salute" which is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. After seeing his Venetian watercolors in person and how loosely he captured the mood and light of the city, I am truly inspired.


7. Mont Saint Michel

An island at high tide, Mont Saint Michel is a monastery in the Normandy region of France. Whether surrounded by water or mudflats at low tide this historic site would be an awesome subject to paint.


The Abbey at Mont St. Michel, Normandy France

8. Petra, Jordan

How cool? Camels and red rock with 2,000 year-old temples and tombs that were hand carved into the area’s sandstone. Since 2007, it’s one of the “New” Seven Wonders of the World. From the documentaries and pictures I’ve seen, it looks like an awe-inspiring place.


Petra, Syria


9. Mount McKinley, Alaska

They say you’re fortunate if you see Mount McKinley when its not covered in fog and clouds. I’m hoping for a clear day when I go, so I can paint the lost edges of the blue sky into the mountain’s shadows. I’ve painted the shadow shapes of snowcapped mountains in the high Sierras using a dry brush technique and can’t wait to try it on Mount McKinley.


10. Hallstatt, Austria

I would love to paint “The Pearl of Austria” an idyllic village not far from where my grandfather was born. This is a must see Alpine village situated on a serene lake rich with beauty, history, ancient artifacts and salt mines. It is the center of the Hallstatt Culture, which dates back to the Late Bronze Age.


Do you have a special place that you’d like to paint? Or perhaps a place that you’ve already visited that I might be interested in? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it.

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© 2023 by Joel Popadics Watercolorist

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