what follows is every page of the 3×5 moleskine i carried in my bag for quick sketches.
most of them were done while i was on trains, busses, at parks, on a boat, etc., except for a couple i did from the balcony of my apartment.
i added watercolor to some when i got home.
it’s fun to notice things and try and capture them on the page. it’s that ACT of drawing that i enjoy so much.
can you find the rainboot on the roof of the building above?
the page above captures the feeling i have when i’m tromping around. it is the opposite of the feeling i have when i’m trapped in a museum. when i’m wandering i have this strong visceral reaction to my surroundings. my senses are heightened. i feel HIGH.
it’s the reason for my wanderlust.
even if you think you can’t draw to save your life i wonder how it would feel to take a little sketchbook with you on your next trip. to try in some rudimentary way to draw what you see.
if you do you’ll let me know won’t you?
rough, unfinished, no purpose other than to immerse myself deeply in the moment.
small moments of being alive in the world.
Deborah A. Pierro says
Love your sketches, Mary Ann! xoxo
Shawn Borror says
is there a FAQ for some of the products you use? Like whatcha got in your purse – big watercolor set? Where do ya keep the water or do you just draw and then get home to Mossy cottage and color in dem lines? Also how do you get over sitting and drawing out in the open? I know that is superbly silly question – but I’d feel so exposed drawing where folks could see how poorly I sketch…
Mary Ann Moss says
they are all micron pens or copicmulitliners in .3, .5, .8
Oh, how I love these sketches, with and without the colour added (especially the rainboot on the roof!). I haven’t been sketching much lately but this inspires me to get busy doing it again. I like the idea of taking a small journal to sketch in on a trip, in addition to my travel journal. As for journaling when I travel, I find it best to write every day because too much happens each day on a trip that I might forget something I want to record unless I am diligent keeping a daily record. Even if I only write for 10 minutes before bed or first thing the next morning, it makes a difference. Then again, the hundreds of photos I take also help to remind me of what I did each day! 🙂
also – how did you get so brave to travel the world all alone? what about the language differences and so on?
your posts are so inspiring!! what pens did you use in the sketches, please?
Love your sketchbook journal…such lovely glimpses into your adventure in Stockholm.
I think the allure of traveling is the wandering. Seeing something different around every corner. Removed from everything that is familiar. It is a high. When I visit museums, I also wander. I don’t stop to linger at everything. But when I see a piece that jumps out at me, I’ll linger. It’s a different kind of high. It speaks to my soul, and I leave refreshed and inspired.
Very enjoyable, looking through this small book. I like to imagine the other passengers on the train watching you sketch, and the other diners seeing you sketch your food before you eat it. I’m always enthralled when I see someone drawing on location, and so I think others should be too!
“small moments of being alive in the world”–perfect!
I like your sketchbook! To see that there are quick sketches which are far from perfect but still look great is very encouraging for a beginner like me! I only started sketching a couple of weeks ago.
I have the same problem like Dede with a travel journal. Taking it with me, everywhere, and not using it. It’s mostly because I don’t find a quiet moment to do it. During daylight hours we are usually outdoors, photographing, exploring, and when we get back to wherever we stay late in the evening I am too tired to bother.
On my last trip to Norway there was so much to see and to report, but I never got it down in my journal. I was too busy watching, looking, exploring. We were on a cruise ship, and you would think there is enough time to journal. But as the ship moves all the time, there are always new things to see. Even if it’s just watching the ocean. I could sit for hours just watching the waves and the clouds. And it didn’t get dark. No sunset on many days. Slept for only 3-4 hours a night… (Didn’t read a single page in the book I brought with me, too). I took tons of photographs, will turn them into a book to keep instead of a travel journal…
Last year we were in the Alps in September. It was dark by 7:30 pm, and I found time to write pages in my travel journal. I guess because there was nothing else to do. Writing, reading. Watching TV wasn’t really an option, I try to avoid it. That was the first time in years that I managed to actually get down something on paper while travelling.
I am back in Norway in September, and I hope to find some time to sketch. But we will be exploring the landscape during the day, and hope to see polar lights during the night…
I hope to get into the habit of daily sketching until then, and be able to make at least quick sketches of a few things out there. My sketchbook and my tiny watercolor set will come with me for sure!
llse Aranti says
At this link of google you can see some of Hans Christian Andersen’s drawing from his travel journals.:-)
llse Aranti says
Do you know that the danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (with the fairy tales) did this, when he traveled around Europa in the 19th century? His diary are filled with sketshes. “To travel is to live” he said.
I try to sketch my world everyday. Thanks you so much for taking me with you on your wanderings. I look forward to reading and seeing your drawings everyday.
Susan Shelley says
Love your sketches of people, really developing, so hard to sketch on the run and capture personality!
Leslie Gardiner says
Love this post, Mary Ann. Thank you for sharing all your experiences and sketchbooks of your trip.
Susie LaFond says
ah the wandering thing, the bumping along and ridin’ whatever contraption you’ve set sail on, home or abroad, all good in my book, your sketches, delight me and make me smile and yup, I found the ‘boot’ 😉
Mary Ann Moss says
absolutely no doubt about it…traveling solo makes it much easier! UNLESS, of course, you are traveling with someone who is also keeping a sketchbook/travel journal… and you both have the same agenda. that’s always the case with me. everyone knows it’s a priority for me, and it is for most of them too. OR someone who is very independent and doesn’t mind doing their own thing while you’re capturing the day in your journal. i think it would be very difficult to do otherwise, especially with a family in tow.
i rent apartments based in part on how good of a table there is to work, and i spread out my stuff and it stays on the table the entire time. maybe you could just manage to get all the writing done and then put it all together back at home…?
Dede Warren says
You’re so funny… trapped in a museum! You made me laugh at the thought of literally being trapped in a museum… which lead to remembering Night at The Museum, the movie. One thing leads to another….
I’m always impressed with those of you who travel with your journals, and actually bring them home with something inside. Especially sketches and paintings to go with the journaling of the trip. Oh I’ve taken plenty of journals with me on trips, but they come home just as they started, empty. I got me wondering if part of that has to do with traveling alone. Do you have more down time when alone on vacation? Or is simply taking the time to pull out the journal and sit long enough to relax into the play regardless of the masses waiting for the next adventure to begin? Perhaps it’s both and maybe its neither.
Either way when I leave next week I will again pack my journal, and pens, and watercolors, and markers. I made a book and filled it with 60 pages of watercolor paper. Here’s to hoping I can find a way to make time for my journal without disparaging looks from my husband!
These quick sketches make me feel like I’m sitting Right Next To You.