Into the great unknown

In the fall of this year, 2012, our family will depart for a year-long adventure from Southern California on an over-land expedition driving our VW Westfalia more than 23,000 miles through 20+ countries including Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, & Brazil!  Once reaching Tierra Del Fuego at the southern-most tip of Argentina, we will figure 8 our way back home.

The unique experiences in these far off places, the inhabitants we will meet, the landscapes we will explore and the roadblocks we are sure to encounter will ultimately shape our creative forces.  Casting our aesthetic in an outward net of vignettes and field notes, Adam will use the trip as the ultimate inspiration to create a new body of artwork for exhibition upon our return including mixed media collage/drawing, photography, cinema and land art.

details from one of my sketch-books 

Samoa Study #1 & #2
13″ x 16.5 “
collage and mixed media.
(inspired from travels through Samoa)

We are Adam & Emily Harteau and we became parents to Colette Nova, aka “the ambassador of love and joy”, in January 2011.  We have travelled through places like Southern Africa, Southeast asia, Polynesia, New Zealand, Japan and even circumnavigated North America in our Westfalia driving 14,000 miles in 3 months… and that was just the two of us!  It will be an embraced challenge for our now family of three to live and voyage in a compact space that will triple as transportation, home, and art studio for over a years time.  Our Open Road is an experiment in living simply while working to create great things.

 Our 1990 VW Westfalia – Transport // Home // Studio
Outfitted by our friends at GOWESTY

collage, mixed media
12.5″ x 17 ”
(inspired by landscapes I have hiked through)

“High Altitude”
collage, mixed media
20.5″ x 17″
(inspired by higher places)

“Pacific Vibrations”
collage, ink, mixed media
28.5″ x 20.5 ”
(inspired by the mighty Pacific Ocean)

working in the Westfalia 

Modern transcendentalists, we believe in the inherent goodness of both man and nature. Our ‘Grand Tour’ is the summation of the things we wish to show and teach Colette: simple living and richness of experience, love above all, togetherness, respect for others & the planet.  To continue our love story, which started as two, and blossomed into 3; to absorb this pure time with our daughter.  Seeking clarity and unity of mind, body and spirit, as in meditation, where 20 minutes can unfurl into hours, we seek to slow this precious time.

“Owens Valley”  We will be making a living, breathing documentary through vignettes such as these that will be updated onto our website as field notes; filmed and edited from our mobile studio.

As we prepared to welcome our daughter we philosophized on what kind of life we would show her, and what we wanted to teach her.  FOOD WATER SHELTER LOVE.  These are “The Essentials,” a poster that Adam made in 2010, as Emily was pregnant with Colette.

“The Essentials”
12″ x 16″
4 color process print 

Setting our long dreamt dreams into action, we will use this time as an incubator to teach her first hand about geography, culture, language, art, food, philosophies, flora and fauna and the great wonders of the world.

photography ///
Southern Africa (Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa) 

Composition Expedition #1 & #2
collage, mixed media
8″ x 11″
(inspired from travels through Africa)

photography /// 
South Island, New Zealand

Fish house
acrylic on wood panel, collage
36″ x 17.5″
(inspired by the landscapes of New Zealand)

35mm ///
Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico
(in addition to shooting digitally I will capture some moments on good ol’ fashioned film)

Growing up off the grid, first in a school bus traveling the west coast, later in a cabin built by his parents in the woods, Adam is fluent in adventure.  As his companion in many a journey over the past 10 years, Emily is a well-versed co-pilot and epic camp chef. Our Open Road will serve as a modern family portrait, as we shed our robes of comfort to reexamine the American Dream, we hope to inspire others to create, eat well, spend quality time together, and adventure into their own great backyards.

Emily is working on a camp cookbook specializing in healthy vegetarian recipes.  Here she is with our Africa adventure mobile/home/kitchen and Namibian sea salt she uses to cook with.

Adam is building of a quiver of custom surfboards for the trip applying his aesthetic to the third dimension.  He shapes, paints and glasses them by hand, using techniques and images from his traditional practices.  They become one of a kind ridable sculpture.

We will be living close to the sea and will find inspiration in it’s waters from the Pacific to the Atlantic and the Caribbean!

Upon our return an exhibition will be organized at a gallery to be announced. Works on paper, photography, cinema, documentation of land art and installation will all be represented.  View Adam’s art his website

We appreciate you taking your time to have a look and hope you will join us on Our Open Road!