I thought I’d do a Throwback Thursday every once in a while, it’s fun for me to look back at old sketches and maybe it’s interesting for you too? Plus, I have Oaxaca on the mind since I’m going back there this fall (and you can come too!).
It’s interesting to see how much style and medium changes over time. This is Sept 2009. I didn’t use watercolor in my sketchbooks then. This is pen and colored pencil in a Moleskine book.
I travelled and sketched with a young family (my kids were 3 and 5). And I didn’t know it then, but it taught me some really valuable things about travel sketching:
– Draw small, it goes much quicker this way
– Draw the small moments and little stuff, they’re big memories
– Don’t make each drawing precious, each page is a collection, a narrative
– Supplement images with words, they add up to more than a sum of the parts
– Keep your tools simple
– Keep a book with you all the time, steal in a sketch when you can.
And while the media I work in and my style has shifted over the years, I still keep these same things in mind when I travel-sketch. Oaxaca was my first trip to Mexico but there have been many over the years. I love the color, the food, the architecture, and the friendly people.
Here are some sketches from other trips.
From Mexico City, 2011, two favorite memories: the gorgeous Art Deco building. Palacio de Bellas Artes. From the years when I used Sharpie Pens and watercolors. I don’t use Sharpies anymore, but I do love how they were fast-flowing and let me draw freely.
And Frida Kahlo’s magical Casa Azul. That blue is magical.
From the Yucatan Peninsula, 2016
People at the beach, Isla Mujeres. Have I mentioned I love drawing people? They say so much about place.
And the incredible pyramid at Coba in the middle of a jungle.
And from January 2018 in Mexico City and San Miguel Allende: drawing just about everything that catches my eye.
It’s interesting to see how work changes over the years, and yet at its core it doesn’t. How I make marks seems to change, tools change, but what interests me doesn’t change. Do you feel like that, looking back at your work?
I’m back in Mexico this October, back to Oaxaca, and leading a travel sketching experience there with Meagan Burns of Art Leap Adventures. There will be a lot of sketching, but there will also be food and cultural tours and visits to archaeological sites. If you’re interested in signing up, find out more about the workshop here, I promise it will be a blast! Meagan also answers questions and concerns you may have about Mexico here.
Me? I’m looking forward to sketching it all of course. But I’m also looking forward to my breakfast tamale, steamed in a banana leaf with a chocolate con agua and to trying a new mole sauce with every meal.