Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another Stab at Travel Journaling


In comments, readers of this blog have asked if I sketched while we traveled.  The answer is "sort of."  I prepared some pages ahead of time in my regular sized Moleskine journal with maps and engravings I found.  This page had our itinerary, with a map of Peru I scanned from an old atlas.

This is also from the regular sized journal.  I had glued in the engravings before we left, and I added other papers and writing on the trip.  It helps to carry along a glue stick.

I did this sketch when we got home from a photo I took in the market at Pisac.  Truth is, I'm in the original photo, but I edited myself out of the sketch.  There isn't time for this sort of more detailed drawing when traveling with a group.


I also have a smaller notebook, about 3.5  by 5 inches.  I had prepared some backgrounds ahead, but the sketching was done in restaurants and on the bus.  These are really simple sketches.  I probably could go back and add color or more shading or detail, but this is what I was able to accomplish in the time I had available.  I think it's important to realize that these quick impressions are just that, sketches, not finished drawings. I like to think that what they lack in "perfection" they have in immediacy and energy.

Another "on the spot" sketch, or impression.  I was too tired to hike up another step, so the others went on ahead while I sat on a terrace and sketched.  Again, the tan background and texture was done ahead of time before the trip.  I also took a photo of this scene so I could add details later if I wanted, but when I got home I decided this was enough to remember the place.

I did several quick sketches in museums.  Nobody seemed to mind, and while the drawings are rudimentary, they helped me look carefully.  I did a page not pictured here, a drawing of a weaver.  My husband said people were walking by looking over my shoulder, but I honestly did not notice.  I guess that's good because it indicates to me that I'm more involved in drawing than in worrying about being watched.

8 comments:

Teri C said...

These are the best kind of travel sketches, spontaneous while still capturing the essence.

laura said...

These pages are great, fascinating, each in its own way. And what a great idea to prepare the journal a bit beforehand!
I never seem to do as much sketching or painting as I plan to on a trip--it's hard to make/find time when the people you're with don't paint too, and it can be intimidating to set up in a strange place (I find it so even at home).
So, brava! What a great memento you've created!

Claudia said...

Wonderful sketches, especially that of the man!

Margaret Ann said...

I really like the idea of having some pages prepared...texture backgrounds...etc...clever idea...I head off on a teeny local getaway next week...might have to give that some thought...

I also love the feel of the untreated pages here...the creamy yellowy color of them lends an ancient feel...Great job! :)

A Brush with Color said...

These are really just wonderful. What great remembrances of your travels. I saw your photos on flickr, too, and they're just stunning. I, too, love the notion of your preparing the pages of the journal somewhat prior to heading out. These would be beautiful to browse through.

Ann said...

Your sketches are brilliant! While I really like the one of the man from a photo, the on-site sketches on prepared pages are my favorites. The spontaneity of line is so expressive.

Sharon said...

These journal pages are interesting and so charming to look at.

Kim said...

What a great idea to prepare backgrounds before your trip. You must love looking back at these journals.