The CAMINO PILGRIM Family

What is it about the Camino de Santiago that brings people together? What is it that inspires writers and artists? We are grateful to Camino Artist, Kate . .

. . for describing some of her experience as a ‘Camino pilgrim’ that drove her to change her life priorities and concentrate on her art, and who is now producing wonderful Camino art / paintings. These are her words:

” Life is full of many ups and downs, some controllable and others not. We have no choice but to accept the good with the bad. After all, does one without the other even mean anything?

A few years ago, I went on a journey, a solo adventure, time just for me. (Selfish?)

Unbeknownst to me then it was an opportunity to really look at what is good and bad in life, to really put perspective on those things. Initially I decided to walk the Camino to ‘just see if I could do it’… and well, I could! Aha! I just didn’t expect the rest that came with it.

Camino de Santiago
Camino de Santiago – painting in alcohol inks

The Camino takes you through mountains, flat lands and forests and each is as beautiful as the last. Make sure you have plenty of room on your phones as you’ll be taking lots of pictures!

The Camino is more than the beauty of your surroundings though, it has an energy that’s unlike anywhere else. I think part of this comes from the sense of community on the Camino, which is amazing, and I love being a part of the pilgrim family; this is true even after the Camino as there are pilgrim family members all around the world that love to connect after walking it! More importantly it seems no matter our differences and backgrounds pilgrims come together and want to learn and help one another more than I’ve ever felt before. (Well, most pilgrims!)

There is also respect for those that want to walk a quiet day without chat and interruption, to be with your own thoughts but with the knowledge of knowing any one you meet would offer a helping hand if you were in need. I feel the Camino gives us permission to be who we are, to be true to ourselves, and to truly be in the moment. Life gets so chaotic sometimes and we don’t often get the time to truly think and be.

Meseta on the Camino de Santiago
Meseta on the Camino, painting by Kate

Don’t get me wrong, the Camino is full of challenges and frustrations, from blisters to achy muscles, or cold showers and snorers in the albergues, but all these things are what ‘make’ the Camino what it is. It’s amazing to challenge yourself to walk 800km! I know my friends thought I was crazy when I went the first time but like in life you just take one day at a time, and if you want it badly enough and you push through the difficult days, you’ll get there. That sense of achievement when you realise what you’ve done outweighs all the days you’ve struggled and had to push through the aches and pains.

Before the Camino I was a hairdresser and artist. After the Camino I was an artist first then hairdresser. I transitioned and changed my life to focus it around what I love; painting…and the Camino. Now I’m no longer a hairdresser and just an artist that paints the Camino. It really has changed my life and has made me realise I need to follow my dreams. My dreams may not happen overnight, but if I want it badly enough and push each day towards achieving my goal, I will get there. Another dream is to walk and paint the Camino as I go, to capture each painting in real time. But! Until I’m able to return, for now I’ll be happy painting my photos and memories and to have fellow pilgrims connect and commission me to paint theirs. What else makes such a unique experience even more special but an original and unique piece of art?

Paths of the Camino de Santiago
Kate takes commissions from fellow pilgrims

”  It’s been difficult to sum up the Camino in a relatively small amount of words as there are so many things to talk about! So, I guess the only real way you can know what it is truly like, is to walk yourself. Go on, I give you permission, now give yourself the permission 😊 ”

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Also see jewellery celebrating Camino de Santiago in this shop

If you’re interested in buying Camino paintings or commissioning Kate, or simply just want to see her version of the Camino in paint, please check out her work on her website and follow her on Instagram and Facebook. All her links are shown above: