last i wrote i was experiencing travel journal anxiety. the accordion book i made was lovely, but not for me. so i solved that problem by deeding it to my sister for HER bavarian travel journal. this is the leather cover i made for it from some scraps i had. i also acquired 2 vintage german ski badges on ebay very inexpensively.
no, i needed something larger with more freedom to draw, write, collage, and paint on the pages. i immediately thought of the stillman & birn softcover sketchbooks, so i ordered 2 – each of a different size containing different paper. the alpha and zeta editions. surely one would work, but no, alas they did not. the alpha was the wrong size and the paper too thin, and the zeta was just the right size (8×10), but the paper too smooth. at this stage in my travel journal life, i have clear preferences to which i am a slave.
thus it was that i ordered a 3rd s&b. this time an 8×10 softcover containing 28 heavyweight, ivory, cold-press pages. when it arrived i knew it was just right and this bear was v.v. pleased.
but what to do with the other 2 softcover sketchbooks? what indeed?
the large one is my new illustrated journal. how is an illustrated journal different from a sketchbook you may ask? i’ve asked myself the same question.
my sketchbooks occasionally have notes or random, usually irreverent thoughts. whereas my private daily writing journal is usually just writing. the thing is, sometimes i include rough sketches of the cats or a diagram or something i’m puzzling out. i’ve noticed that when i read back over my journals the pages with the scribbly drawings are my favs.
for now, on the days i just want to write i use my trusty writing journal, and the days i want to have a picture to go along with the writing i use my new illustrated journal.
these pages are not really intended for public consumption, but i show them now as i think aloud about the process.
we’ll see, how they evolve over the next 56 pages. i suppose in order to be a true illustrated journal the images i’ve drawn would relate directly to the writing. there i go, thinking too much.
perhaps in time, this will make more sense to me and i’ll be able to write more coherently about it.
what’s up with the cars?
the smaller s&b sketchbook not slated for my travel journal is my new car sketching journal. it lives in my car along with a tiny watercolor palette and water brush. but, that’s not of course why there are cars on the page above.
almost daily in the last couple of weeks, i pull over and get in some practice drawing from life.
we’re renting a car in germany and i hope to have many car sketching experiences while i’m there.
here in LA when i pull over to draw, i’ve been noticing all the cars. i’ve been including them in all their quirky strangeness, which led me to launch myself into a self-study course focusing on cars.
full street scenes with sidewalks, cars, houses, trees, electric poles, are confounding. apparently, i like confounding myself.
this practice may or may not all pay off in germany, but either way i absolutely LOVE sitting in my car trying to draw what i see. i am immersed in the moment and have such a feeling of elation when i’m in the process.
as soon as i finish this post i’m heading out the door to go find a street scene!
oh, and in case you’re wondering what happened to the 2nd bavarian ski patch from ebay i mentioned above…
i present my 8×10 bavarian travel journal slash sketchbook.
ready for action!
in the coming days i’ll show you how i’m adding dates, some collage, maps, etc., to the pages before i leave.
the countdown to summer has begun. i’ve been swamped at school trying to get everything packed up, wrapped up, and my 31 students culminated and on their way to middle school.
thankfully, this holiday weekend has given me a chance to zip out a dispatch to you. i hope you’re peachy keen. i’m imagining you off on wonderful adventures on the orient express. sailing away on your little boats to faraway ports. packing your caravans for a month-long, boreal rainforest trek to british columbia. drinking pots of tea, strapping on your rollerskates and rolling down your driveways, strolling along windswept cliffs by the sea.
ahead lies summer and a long glittering passage to a new (but brief) chapter of life. here’s hoping we all make the most of it and one of us finds the pause button to make it last longer.
please say you will.