hi everyone! i’m all excited to begin to show you my umbria sketchbook (travel journal). as i show the pages i want to “talk” about how this process was different than my usual way of travel journaling. if you’re a long-time reader you know that i usually have a collage-style approach so this was a big departure for me. i have to tell you i was nervous about my total immersion approach. wow. you look at other people’s sketchbooks on flickr and think ‘oh i can do that not a problem’ once i was at the airport trying to draw people i changed my tune! but of course sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult, especially if you don’t have the corresponding skill set.
doing an occasional sketch here and there like i was doing this past year, is quite different than filling a book within a couple of weeks. and oh i did cram sketching into every single day in umbria. as many as i could. and what a high it was! it seemed like my brain hummed so quietly and i became so still, so utterly absorbed by the process. some sketches were done on location in alleys or cafes. others i started on location and finished the watercoloring part back at the terrace or kitchen table with a fire going. i found my ipad a very useful tool because the screen is so large. i would take an ipad picture and then later at night i would prop the ipad up on the table and draw into my sketchbook.
my sister also did much more sketching than usual. i will let you imagine the rollicking commentary that came when we finished each sketch. kind of along the lines of “you is kind, you is good, you is important” only wildly outrageous. more like, “you is a unparalled genius, you is a master, you has an exceptional grasp of form and shape.”
i grew more confident as the days passed. i loved watching my travel journal fill up with sketches!
i almost always hated whatever i had sketched immediatEly afterwards, but 12 hours later i loved it. in fact some of the sketches i thought were the worst have turned out to be some of my favorites. mind you, it’s really important that there be a certain level of delusional thinking in order for this to work.
as for supplies, i only brought a few pens, a pencil, eraser, sketchbook, one water brush, a page of reference fonts, and i used my sister’s watercolors. light & easy. simple.
i sewed my loose signatures into the covers a few days ago.
i don’t plan to abandon my other method of keeping a travel journal, but this one was such a fresh change. obviously, it would be fairly simple to combine both types of journaling in one book, and there’s no reason to choose one way over the other. it’s kind of like learning to speak a new language though. i knew i would not be able to keep a sketchbook while traveling unless i forced myself to do it. total immersion. jump in, cuss up a storm, and problem solve the whole way through.