Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Illustrating my Italian Journal

I'm so busy relaxing....enjoying my family's company, changing chairs from shade to sun to shade, a swim here, a terrace lunch there, a mystery novel to finish (Conor Fitzgerald's The Dogs of Rome), that I haven't been writing blog posts. My laziness is aided by the lack of an Internet connection at our rental....

But I have been recording my impressions of our visit in my illustrated journal. I have limited materials here (the journal I brought isn't the best paper for watercolours; I'm using a tiny set of 8 watercolour blocks; only 3 pencils; some aqua pencil crayons, and a few finetip waterproof ink pens). I also, obviously, have limited abilities. But I have limitless enthusiasm for this activity, at the moment, and I thought I would share a few pages with you.

The technical issues on the page photographed below are fairly obvious, yes. But I hope you can also sense my absorption in the scene. I may not have effectively represented the green foliage spilling over the wall in the bottom right, but it's surprising how much I will remember from having looked and thought and analyzed and mulled over paints and colour and whether or not to attempt detail (I chose "no"--that's pretty clear at least, right?)

This morning, I had another go at this scene, from a slightly different perspective, and then on the facing page I sketched a few items from our breakfast. It's so satisfying, so much fun, to play around with possible arrangements. And since it's just for me (except when I share a page or two here, or dazzle my family with my talent--hah!), it doesn't really matter how recognizable or "good" my efforts are. So freeing!

But in case you're wondering what it really looks like here. . .

 

N

 

Not bad,eh?

Have you taken up the habit, yet, of the Illustrated Journal? Or do you prefer other methods of recording your travels? Or perhaps you prefer to live just in the moment and leave memory to its whim. . . I am reading and enjoying and appreciating very much your comments, whenever I get a few minutes of catch-up time on the Web. Sadly, for now, that time doesn't extend to answering your comments, but if you listen very, very carefully, you may hear me answering you from a terrace by the sea in a country where so much is Bellissima!

 

15 comments:

  1. I am really just getting started with watercolours and have only attempted a watercolour journal on one trip so far. Definitely something I look forward to doing more of on my future travels. In the past my travel journals were only written. Next time I am going to combine the two, as you have. I enjoy ink drawing too. Using more than one mode of expression, interpretation, investigation (?) enhances the experience for sure. Also a trip is a good opportunity to get artistically re-inspired.
    Have been enjoying your travel posts and tweets.

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  2. I took sketching pencils but I did only one sketch in 9 weeks. I would like to use more water colours. It sounds and looks like a lovely spot to share with family.

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  3. Bee paper journal, water brush, pencil, eraser, ink pen and cottman travel set = good to go. I discovered illustrated journalling a few years ago and have loved it since then. Don't always accomplish much but the meditative Action is very vacation :)

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    1. Okay, I have to find out what is this bee paper of which you speak . . . ;-)
      Your art is ever so much more accomplished than mine, but I think you'd agree with me that that's beside the point. It is a very vacation, meditative action.

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  4. I love your little journal. To me it's not about how good each little image may or may not be - the art is the in the book as a whole.

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  5. Mater, We just returned from 3 months in Europe and tried to sketch and paint in each of the places we visited. Looking at the sketchbooks brings back an immediate, strong memory of the moment - far stronger response than looking at a photo. And don't be shy! your journal is charming and full of joy. Kris in Courtenay

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    1. 3 months! Lucky you! I, too, get a much stronger response from looking at my sketchbooks and reading my written journals than simply from looking at a photo. Thanks for the kind words.

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  6. I do, and I want to do more. I do love the way you've captured the essence of your view in your sketch.

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  7. 20 years ago went with husband/sons to the Yucatan and first grader son was assigned to make up for missing school by "keeping a journal"....it evolved into whole family drawing/dictating text/coloring to record various items and scenes of interest to each of us.

    And THAT evolved into illustrated journals of all of our trips, which are referred back to by various family members, as this spring when the now grown up child originally assigned to keep a journal 20 years ago wanted to know what hikes we took at Mesa Verde 7 years ago...there it is, all recorded with illustrations.

    We really owe that first grade teach a thank you for the assignment, it has enriched our whole family.

    Loving both "journals" of your travels, the blog and the more traditional one.

    Ceci

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    1. This is a great example, Ceri -- makes me think I should dig up the journal my daughter kept, at about 8, during a few weeks we spent in England. Sadly, unlike you we didn't extend the project -- what a great idea! In fact, you inspired me to have my granddaughter fill a few pages of my journal with her impressions. . . .

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  8. What a beautiful idea and very inspiring! You are quite talented with the drawing pencil and watercolours. I take a lot of photos and lots of notes but am not very good at getting it put together once I am home.

    Pictures of Italy are lovely. Our trip to Nepal and Tibet this fall has been pushed back for another year (maybe 2) so my husband suggested Italy as a replacement. It will be our first trip there, we are still working on an itinerary but it will likely include Cinque Terre.

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    1. You will eat very well in Italy! I'd say it would make a great substitute. This was our first trip there and I'd love to go back -- haven't been to Cinque Terre, but my daughter was very enthusiastic about it!

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  9. What a beautiful journal- what warm, carefree memories it will provide in colder, busier days. Enjoy!

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  10. Beautiful journal. You are really good with the watercolours.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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