Saturday, June 21, 2014

Project: Travel Sketches

While we were on our trip to New Mexico Eric and I thought we should try and do some sketches along the way. Our goal was to do one sketch each and every day of the vacation. Have you ever tried this? You don't need to be an artist to enjoy this exercise. Eric and I found that it really helped us to enjoy the experience a little better as we looked for compositions or interesting details that we might translate into art. Sometimes we were inspired by architecture, flora and fauna, colors, smells, etc. Eric was able to find a few moments to sit outside and sketch on the spot, but I was not so lucky. Elise has been going through a very clingy phase and she made it impossible for me to paint on the spot. What I did instead was find the compositions that interested me. I made notes about color or whatever needed noting and then I took a photo with my phone. When the girls were asleep in the hotel room Eric and I would have a glass of wine (trust me it was well deserved) and paint and talk. We wondered why we hadn't been doing this always, it was so pleasurable.

paint set

If you want to give it a try all you need are a few portable supplies. Eric used a watercolor travel pack and I used acrylic. The packs were acquired at a local craft store for about $10 each and contained a pencil, eraser, sharpener, 3 brushes, 10 tubes of paint, and a tray for mixing paint. All we needed to add to that was paper (watercolor paper for him and acrylic paper for me) we used small paper 5x7 inches and then a cup with water (we used hotel cups).

Naturally I had to personalize my box...

Some sketches were pretty elaborate, others a quick five minute rendering. I think, if you give this a try, it is important to remember that they are just sketches--nothing major. The main idea is to capture a mood or a memory.

sketching in hotel
Sketching in the hotel

Here are the sketches that I made over the course of our trip.

trinidad sketch
My first sketch was rendered in probably five minutes. We didn't have much time so I just slapped the paint down to get something onto paper.

santa fe sketch
This is from just off the plaza in Santa Fe, there was a park across the street where the girls could play. I really loved the blue paint with the earthy adobe color.

santa fe sketch
Also Santa Fe, loved the adobe. Weird how much I miss adobe up north.

alamogordo sketch
Desert plants are so lovely, they are often spindly and earth colored, saving everything up for vibrant blooms.

alamogordo sketch
A very speedy sketch of a home we once lived in...omitting much of its current sad state.

alamogordo sketch
A super-fast sunset sketch

Albuquerque sketch
Some crazy desert bloom from Albuquerque.

santa fe sketch
A bunch of stones in baskets at a Santa Fe market

denver sketch
I watched someone pull this dragonfly from the hotel pool. She blew on it, trying to revive it. Later I went down and snapped a photo and then painted it up in the hotel room.

So there you have it, just another way to personalize your trip and maybe even experience a place in a new way.


Sarah Purdy said...

Lovely! I didn't realize that the term "sketch" could be used to describe something other than a picture made with pen or pencil. Very cool idea - something that would never occur to me (which is why I don't get paid to make art, evidently!). Glad you're home and not puking!!

Mom said...

What a lovely idea! I also enjoyed the photo of the two of you painting. I thought it was sweet that someone was trying to revive the butterfly.

Victoria said...

I just love this! As you know we are BIG advocates of sketching on the go! Sketchbook Tours was born from our desire to have a deeper connection to the places we travel with our students! Caution, watercolor sketching is highly addictive!!

Marie Roxanne said...

I like the dragonfly one, of course all of your sketching are beautiful (Eric's and yours)

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