Friday, November 20, 2015

Do You Stay Creative When You Travel?

     When you travel, do find time and energy to create art? I try to create some type of art on each trip. On some trips, I pack small embroideries that I can sew. Usually those work best on family types of vacations where I'll be staying in one place for most of the time. On my most recent trip, I spent three weeks in Croatia visiting various cities. I had envisioned myself sitting by ruins sketching and painting the views. So I packed a sketchbook, a small set of watercolors, a pencil, and a gel pen.  As it worked out, I didn't feel comfortable sitting for a few hours at a scene sketching while my husband was ready to move on to something else. To get my creative itch scratched, each evening I looked at the photos I took with my iPad and chose the one the inspired me the most and began to design a sketch of it. As I began, I decided not to just do a realistic drawing. I decided to carry on with the series I began here.
The Puppeteer
     I cut out the main figure in various sizes from tissue paper and then superimposed them onto sketches and photos as I worked to help me with my designs.
tracing paper "tools"
My husband took this photo of me playing with a cat in the town of Labin in Croatia. 
in Labin, Croatia
As I started a sketch of it, I decided to put the figure of my niece on the bench instead of me to carry on with the series.
The Puppeteer of Labin
Another place we visited had the remains of a Roman arch. It's at a place called Burnum. How this sketch began was a bit unusual. On the right side of the sketchbook, I had made a pressing from watercolors a few months ago from a plant and it looked like just a spray of blue paint. I was sitting in the hotel room in Croatia wondering what to do to it and I saw that it had a vague shape of an ammonite. So I drew the shape around it with the gel pen and painted patterns in to finish it.
     Then, I decided to sketch the arch on the facing page and unify the two sketches with each other so I did the arch in the same style as the ammonite and put the figure of the girl under the arch to carry on with the series.
The Puppeteer of Burnum
I took a photo of clock against the ruins of a wall in Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia and I'm working on a sketch of her sitting near the clock.  The tracing paper pieces of her helps me to decide what scale of her to use and where to place her in each drawing. Plus I can hold the tracing paper pieces right up to the iPad photos to see how she would look before I start sketching. I've found it to be great tool. So even when I don't have time to sit and do sketches right on the scene, I find I can still be creative when I travel.  Just take photos during the daytime, review them in the evening, rethink them into something new, and draw and paint whenever there is time.
     And now for some personal news. Those of you that have followed my blog for some time are familiar with one of my cats, Opus. He is black and white and often in my studio with me. Well, another black and white cat showed up in our yard and would not go away. We tried hard to ignore him and then to find another home for him. But in the end, we had to adopt him. We named him Andy... not after anything or anyone. Just a cute name. Here are some pictures of Andy and Opus making friends for the first time. Andy is on the left and Opus is on the right.

Uh oh

The first touch

So now I have three cats. They all are getting along just fine. Opus and Andy play a lot with each other. They are going to be best buddies. Rosie is just starting to play with Andy. I'm linking this to Off The Friday where you can find other art quilt blogs. Please make comments on their posts to let them know you stopped by. Thanks for visiting.


  1. I enjoyed reading about your series...and I love your matching cats! :-)

  2. I can't tell the cats apart from each other from behind. Their faces are slightly different and their front legs are different. Even their sounds are the same.

  3. I love your cats too. And, I envy the way you can take a photo and put in a new figure - you are sol talented, Regina! I always have high hope on a trip to sketch but somehow it never works out quite the way I envisioned!

    1. The tracing paper figures helps me put in the new figures. It helps me to see what it would look like and to choose what scale to use and which way to face them. This is the first trip I have been so productive with my sketchbook and I think it is largely due the idea with the tracing paper.


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