I made this illustration on the first page of my Moleskine Japanese album, a 48 page concertina sketchbook I am taking with me on this trip.
This is just a warm up drawing before the real travel sketching begins which would be quick and messy, sometimes drawn in comfy chairs inside nice cafes with a fascinating scene unfolding outside the window or sitting on hard ground in a really uncomfortable position under the midday sun or in a breeze so strong that you have to use binder clips to secure the pages so they don’t fly away and with people gathered around and watching every stroke you make.
In short my travel sketches are nothing like this illo which I patiently created in the comfort of my studio! But that doesn’t detract from the fact that I love travel sketching.
I love its ‘unfinished’ nature and its immediacy. I love that I am able to pin down a moment, a scene, a season, a dialogue, a trend or say an emotion I witnessed on paper using hasty lines and scribbles.
But what I love most is cracking open my travel journal long after the trip is over.
Sure you remember the rice paper rolls and coffee you had for lunch at Melbourne’s Federation Square three Christmases back because you drew them but the joy of remembering how warm the sun felt on your face is unparalleled and the scores of seagulls hopping around begging for food and that the staff at Starbucks who got your name right the first time. It all comes back!
So here I go again for two weeks touring Vancouver, the Canadian Rockies, Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto and I am planning to sketch as much as I can and when I am back I hope to eventually share the drawings here on the blog.
By the way, you couldn’t tell that we love playing Scrabble, could you?