Packing, Prepping, Painting

[continued from previous post on May 10, 2017]

I was panicky for a month after I signed up to go to Mexico on my {non refundable} trip but the holidays came quickly and I didn’t have time to over think it.  In fact, having something exciting to look forward to made the holidays a little less painful as I wished the days past so I could be on the other side of them.

I decided to do what I used to do when I traveled with my husband in the past – I created an art journal/sketchbook to document my journey and prepare for the adventure.  It was harder than I thought because the process always brought about excitement just thinking about all the fun things we would do.

This sketchbook would be different . . . it would be about me and my first solo trip. I remember clearly I made a very conscious decision at that moment.  I could sit every day for the rest of my life and merely exist OR I could TRULY LIVE.

I choose to live

I choose to live.  Fully.  Happily.  Wholeheartedly. It is how my husband lived his life and it is how I know he would want me to live out mine.  More importantly, God created us to be creatures of JOY.  He wants us to be joyful. I choose to live joyfully {as best I can at the moment . . . but I have faith it will come}.

So, here’s a few peeks at my travel journal.  I’m doing this.  I’m going to Mexico! Starting this journal, warming up to an artistic life again, all positive steps forward.

I created the cover by hand lettering in pen and coloring in the designs on each letter and the sombrero with Tombow Markers.  I love the way they bleed a little when I wet them with my waterbrush.  I love this festive decoration on the front of my journal!

I decided to work on loose pages for this trip to make it easier and lighter to carry around.  I I tore sheets of watercolor paper and folded them to create folios.  I like texture in my work, so I used Saunders Hot Press Rough 140 lb watercolor paper. It holds the pigment well and even though it is a little bumpy for writing, I like the imperfection. I have a sweet little Schmincke watercolor travel set and I use a Pitt Pen (size .05) for sketching and writing.  Once I get home, I will bind the pages together.

For every trip, I like to draw a little map of the area or where I’m going.  It sort of sets the stage for the adventure.  I also like to create my packing list right inside my art journal.  As I think of things, I write them down and also make little drawings of items to decorate the page.

Finished prepping!  Now all I have to do is get on that plane!!!

{to be continued}

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  1. Mary W

    I really love your map. Don’t know why hand drawn and painted maps do that to me but I just keep looking at them as if something was going to happen while I look. Evidently my eyes are very happy looking. Making a journal is a fantastic way to document your trip. Just as you decorated your planner (before you became so famous for it), the trip journal is another way to collect all your thoughts and decisions that will be so fun to look at years later. I wish going to the grocery store could be that much fun! Hummm – maybe I need to rethink that and create a painty little journal for my list of needs and date it and find something new or funny or interesting to add to the page with color. I know I love trying new food so the label could be added and something I really didn’t like could be fun to paint and then deface. Or maybe a political ad to deface – now that could be really fun. I think you have stirred up some play time for me. Thanks! Can’t wait to hear about the plane ride.

  2. Mary W

    More importantly – did you come back on the plane? I need to hear the rest! One of my most favorite things that I call eye candy is handmade, watercolored maps and I just love yours. Will it be filled with dots marking placed you visited or mountains or text? I think I need to make a map page in my journal just because. Maybe I’ll draw one of New Mexico where I would love to visit the Carlsbad Caverns since my childhood ‘book’ visit through National Geographic. Maybe a bucket list journal of maps. I actually don’t want to travel much so it would be a smaller journal but fun to paint. Thanks for the inspiration. Love you.

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