Long overdue. I’m in the process of going through a bunch of photos from old trips I’ve been on. While these aren’t the best photos. I mean, they are from like 8 years ago… I still want to record the trip here.
This is a day trip I took while I was in Italy way back in 2011. I stayed in San Lazzaro, hiked down to Almafi, and took a boat to Positano, then back again.
The summer I spent abroad in Italy is what kick-started my love of sketching. The trip was, hands-down, the move influential and transformative experience I’ve had in my life.
These sketches were all done over an 8 week period during the summer of 2011. Looking back at them now, I’ve fallen in love, and almost long to return to my early style of sketching. Little vignettes all over the page, running into each other, interacting in interesting ways, and with little notes as to what I found interesting.
I also can’t believe I spent an entire summer using almost nothing but pencil! I rarely use pencil in my sketching now, preferring to move quickly onto ink. But I am focusing on pencil, at least for the time being, in my #The100DayProject, so it’s nice to return to the medium.
On the first page above, you can see I made a note to “Read Mannerism” which was a passing comment/critique from my professor. A comment which I promptly forgot about for the rest of the summer and that I literally didn’t follow up on until I was writing this 7 years later. OH MY GOD HOW HAS IT BEEN 7 YEARS SINCE I WAS IN ITALY HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE JESUS CHRIST WHERE DOES THE TIME GO PLEASE STOP I WANT TO GET OFF.
…Anyway, mannerism was an art style “that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520 and lasted until about end of the 16th century in Italy. Mannerism exaggerates such qualities, often resulting in compositions that are asymmetrical or unnaturally elegant.”
After reading about Mannerism, all the rest of my sketches seem so obviously in that style. Even to this day, I find myself exaggerating perspectives or certain features of a scene. I would rather a sketch convey the feeling of a space, rather than be an accurate depiction, which all feels totally in line with the style.
The first 3 pages are sketches I did on site early in the trip. I went back at the end of the semester and collected these sketches into one, more cohesive composition, above.
It was during this sketch that our professor walked past me, stopped, and remarked that I had made some serious progress. So while this sketch is simple and slightly boorish compared to later sketches and my current work, it’s a sign of progress, and for that I will always adore it.
Trying to be a bit more realistic for the fountain above, but I always love a good diagram!
Getting towards the end of the semester. This was the first day of sketching that I really loved once it was finished. I adore all the little pieces, exaggerated perspectives, notes, and diagrams, that make up this page.
My very last sketch of the semester, and my absolute favorite! We were somewhat guided for this one, with my professor suggesting about halfway through the session, to try drawing a “worm’s eye view”. I love how all these little pieces come together to create a single understanding of the space.
That principle is something I want to more actively adapt to my sketching today.
I’m so excited to document this trip and share these photos. Cuba has such a laid back attitude and tropical aesthetic that I just vibewith.
Tell someone you are going to Cuba and you are either greeted with excited/jealous faces from people who truly appreciate this sleepy little country, OR you get serious side-eye because you are going to be visiting a communist country and communism is the DEVIL if you go you will be BRAINWASHED! You will bring it back and infect the entire country OHMYGOD HOW COULD YOU! U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A.
But, I mean, mostly it was the first response. Cuba is fantastic. Suck it.
I also tried to sketch some during our trip, but our pace was just too fast for me to sit and sketch. I’m going back and filling out my Cuba sketchbook little by little. I’ll be happy to share that when I’m finally finished.
I spent the weekend in Charleston, South Carolina for a Bachelorette Party, and I really fell in love with the city way more than I expected too.
The weather was perfect. High 75, breezy, not too sunny or too cloudy. The perfect spring day. The food was amazing. And then the downtown. Holy shit, so much character and charm. I’ll let you look for yourself.
Downtown Charleston is a lot like New Orleans, but cleaner, and more manicured.
At this very moment I’m driving (or riding) through Arkansas, on my way to Missouri for the long Labor Day weekend! My partner Mitchell went to high school in a small town in northern Missouri and we’re heading back for his 10 year reunion! It will actually be my first time in Missouri, and I’m getting pretty excited to see where he grew up! You’ll be able to keep up with me on twitter and instagram; I’ll be tagging everything #BR2KC. I’ve got some great things planned for the weekend!
Anywhoozle, its going to probably be like 14 hours in the car, NOT including stops and distractions, so I’ve gathered some tips and tricks to keep myself sane on this very long Friday adventure.
Enjoy! And if there’s anything I missed, let me know! It could be useful info on my return trip.
1. Pack a cooler and bring healthy snacks.
Packing a cooler can save you from spending money on crap food, which is always a plus. Now, I’m all for gas station Icee’s and white cheddar popcorn. In fact I’ve probably already had both of those things this morning. But you are going to feel like crap if that’s all you eat for 12 hours. Get your snack on with some healthier options. I’ve packed carrots, broccoli, grapes, and some sandwiches. (Among other things like soda and cheese dip.)
2. See if there is anything cool on the way.
This isn’t a traditional road trip where we’re just out to drive and look at things. We are very much trying to get from A to B. Even still, I’ve tried to add some interesting side adventures. I recommend heading to roadtrippers.com and finding some cool stuff along your journey. They have a wide selection of destinations and adding them to your route is super easy! They also have an app so you can track your progress and stay on track. It didn’t have everything so check out here for some more unique attractions. (RoadTrippers didn’t even mention the world’s largest wind chimes or rocking chair!) I also found this site that has a map of all the public photo booths in the US. There is one in a diner in Eureka Springs, so I’m going to try and convince Mitch to stop there for lunch!
3. Stuff to get comfortable.
I’m bringing a blanket for when its not my turn to drive, as there will definitely be some napping. (Also, a small pillow and an eye mask wouldn’t hurt either.) Basically, anything you would bring on a long plane ride. Also earphones. No matter how similar your tastes are in music, at some point you and the driver will disagree. Time to pull out the headphones so you can retreat into your own little music (or audiobook) world!
4. Don’t forget the camera!
With all the fantastic stops you’ve got planned, you are going to want to document it riiiight?! Good… as long as we’re on the same page. I’ll pulling my old Polaroid cameras off the shelf and bringing them along for the adventure! I’ll also have my actual camera and my phone for taking snapshots along the way. (Mitchell tells me its actually quite beautiful.)
5. The boring safety stuff.
Anything that has you driving 2k miles in a weekend and 13 hours from home, is a reason to get your car checked out. We got the oil changed yesterday, and a general inspection to make sure were off on the right foot. Other things to check: Make sure your insurance and registration are up to date, and make sure your spare is in working order AND that you have the equipment you need to install it if necessary. A spare is no good without a jack.
Did I forget something? What are your best road-trip tips?
Let me know so I can add it to the list, and so I won’t make the same mistake on the way back!
Check out these other tips and tricks you may enjoy:
Welcome to the first installment Flashback Fridays! A post full of inspiring, fantastic, makes-you-angry-they-exist-and-you-aren’t-there, kind of places.
I’ve just been feeling so european lately! I’m in the midst of some serious withdrawals, so I’ve been taking a look over my photos to remind myself, that yes, I actually did do all of that stuff. Maybe I’ll finally put that photo book together…
Anyway, look at these pictures and let it brighten your spirits. These are all during my 8 week study abroad summer in Italy, specifically, my time from Rome. Some flashbacks to other fantastic Italian cities are on the way.
I know I’ll be reverting back to some of my Italian ways this weekend. God, if only I could get Italian Fanta in the states, I would just dieee.