Sunday, August 11, 2013

Remembering journeys via your sketchbook

Terry Grant here.  I love to travel and I carry a sketchbook with me when I do. I also have my handy camera and take a lot of photos. Finding the time for drawing in my sketchbook is harder when I am traveling with other people and we are on the go, but when I have taken the time it has paid off. My memories of the places I have stopped to draw are so much richer and more detailed than even those sparked by photos.

On one of our trips to Ecuador we visited the Galapagos Islands. Much of our time was spent on the small ship, The Golondrina, and that was downtime when I could actually sit and sketch. All these years later I can smell the ocean and feel the gentle sway of the ship when I look at this sketch.

Here I can feel the sun at the equator, beating down on the sandy beach and remember how green the sea was that day and smile all over again at the sunbathing sea lions.

On another trip to Ecuador (my daughter lived there for 6 years...) we took a day trip up the side of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world. My daughter had climbed it the year before and wanted us to experience part of her adventure. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for me I had such an extreme reaction to the high altitude that the guide made me stay with the van in the parking lot while the rest of the party climbed to the base camp. Once the nausea subsided I was glad I had my sketchbook in my pack.

I look at this drawing and can almost feel the pounding of my heart and the dizzy buzz of my head that day. I can smell the fog and the sting of tiny snowflakes as a storm rolled in. My heart actually begins to beat a little faster as the memories come back!

While I  love traveling with my husband and family, some day I would like to take a trip all by myself so that I can stop and sketch wherever and whenever I want! It is such a wonderful way to truly absorb your surroundings and feel the rhythm and essence of a place. It doesn't have to be a tourist attraction or an exotic location. The everyday details are the heart of a place. A beautiful, sunny summer day in Boise, Idaho, enjoying a cold Starbucks, is also a joy to remember.

I wish you all happy journeys—don't forget your sketchbook!

1 comment:

  1. Your post is a good reminder to slow down and suck up the atmosphere, emotions and events happening around me when I am traveling. I also want to take a vacation with tons of extra time so I can sketch on the spot!