- I had an epiphany at a Turner exhibit – the importance of boldness. This was the biggest lesson: to be bold in terms of time, line and materials. I have always tended to pale, tentative sketches. The limitations of time and materials forced me to far less subtlety, and I think that is a good thing. You can get away with a lot more if you do it with confidence and flair. I’m still working on both of these, but I am aware of the difference now.
- To appreciate markers and coloured pencils. Not always like, but appreciate.
- The joy of having the book constantly up to date.
- Paying attention to little scenes. I remember places keenly because of a knitting girl or a moldy pumpkin.
- People complicate travel sketching. I am conscious of their possible reaction (both to my sketching and to others’ reactions), time constraints, the need to move at a joint pace rather than individual, the vagueness it lends my half of conversations. I need to practice drawing in company and to stop being rritated by conversations which on drawing time.
- I have become much more comfortable with drawing/sketching from life and have continued this in other sketchbooks since returning.
- I like having a visual record. It is more legible than handwriting alone, I look back at it more frequently than a written journal, and I think it is more self-contained and interesting than a photo album alone.
- I feel less self-conscious about inviting people to look at sketchbook than at photo albums. This is partly vanity and partly because I am never convinced people actually want to look at photos (and I have to sit there and explain them).
Next time I will:
- Take less.
- Ignore perfection – better at all than never.
- Draw more.
- Be bold.
- Make hi-res scans the first time around (still, better at all than never).
The other parts:
And the journal itself is up as a set on Flickr: USA 2007 Moleskine.