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October 18, 2014

Home From Paris

We just returned from a wonderful week in Paris, and I'm thrilled that I have a travel sketchbook from our visit.  I recycled an Atget B&W photography book as a sketchbook and before we went I created 2x2" squares in a grid for each day, a map of Ile Saint Louis where we rented an apartment, and a double spread as a calendar.

Here are those completed pages. 

 

This is the double spread with the grid - where I painted some small reminder of each day,

ParisGrid.size.jpg 

Grid1.size.jpg 

Grid2.size.jpg 

I painted a map of Ile Saint Louis before we left and then added the locations of the places I wanted to remember. 

Map.size.jpg 

I prepared a double spread to keep a brief calendar for each day, which includes the weather, and events in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  Here is a sample of the completed page for our first 4 days.

Calendar1.size.jpg 

While we were there I painted some of my favorite scenes, an early Picasso gouache on brown paper, some quick portraits of my husband, and 4 homework assignments from the first 2 weeks of sketchbook skool.  I'll organize these and post them next week.  This was our 11th trip to Paris over 44 years and the only one for which I kept a travel sketchbook!  I still took hundreds of photos, but the sketchbook pages are so much more meaningful. 

 

October 7, 2014

We Are Going to Paris!

I made a recycled book from a $2.00 used book as my travel sketchbook and showed it previously in a blog post.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2014/09/making_a_travel_sketchbook_for.php 

 

I've done some preliminary drawing/painting etc before we begin and wanted to add those pages to my blog now.  I love "trip anticipation" and these steps make the upcoming trip even more fun.

 

Here is the cover of the book - and it has 32 pages of varying size watercolor folios mixed with some original pages of Atget's B and W photos.

Atget.size.jpg 

 

I sketched and painted a vintage Paris Metro sign in the Scupture Garden at MoMA this summer and decided to print it out and collage it for the title page of the sketchbook.  I will add my identifying and contact information here. 

This is a small page and the word Paris is actually cut-out letters at the edge of the next page.

 

Metro.size.jpg

 

This is Page 2 - and contains Mickey - the Sendak traveler I put in all of my overseas travel sketchbooks.  The two squares are part of the 2" paintings I do - one for each day of our trip.   

Mickey.size.jpg 

 

Here is page 3 with the cut-away Paris Letters and some more 2" squares for drawing. 

Paris.size.jpg 

 

Page 4 is a scanned and collaged map of the center of Paris.  I love maps and even still have one with all of our walks from our first 2 week trip there many, many years ago outlined in marker. 

ParisMap.size.jpg 

 

Page 5 is one of the original Atget page folios I bound into my book.  Don't you just love the old lingerie shop? 

Lingerie.size.jpg

 

Page 6 will have our itinerary, collaged over the original French text from the preceding page, with our rental apartment address.

And Page 7 has my map of Ile St. Louis - the location of our apartment.  The other places we frequent on the island will be added to this page when we arrive.   We rented an apartment on Ile De La Cite several times and were thrilled to be staying now on the other island in a 17th C. building, above a boulangerie. 

Ile.St.Louis.size.jpg

 

When I'm traveling with my husband, we walk lots and just stop at places that look interesting, and in the process I do quick sketches - painting them then or later in the day.  I have no idea what the watercolor paintings will be like in this book, but I loved Koosje Koene's travel pages of what she wore that day - and what they ate that day!  When we went to Venice in 2012, I sketched and painted the clothes I brought - inspired by a very old illustration from a travel sketchbook in an exhibit at the Morgan Library.  And in Venice I did a painting of several gondoliers showing what they wore! 

 

September 4, 2014

Making a Travel Sketchbook for Paris

I love to make special travel sketchbooks for our vacations, recycling old books about the location.  I found a $2.00 damaged book of Eugene Atget photographs at the Strand bookstore in New York City.  By carefully clipping the old binding threads, I was able to preserve some of the folios, using two of them for my end papers and inserting two others amidst the watercolor paper.

The book is 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches, a perfect size for my purse or backpack.  I filled it with Fabriano Artistica 140 lb soft press watercolor paper, with some irregularly-sized pages for fun.  

 

Front Cover:

AtgetCover.size 

 

Front End Paper:

Front.endpaper.size.jpg 

 

Back End Paper: 

Back.Endpaper.size.jpg 

 

I sketched an Eiffel Tower that I will place on the title page - and then make a grid for  a daily small image, a calendar for daily events, and a map showing the location of our rented apartment.

Eiffel%20Tower.size.jpg 

 

Several years ago I posted a 3 part  tutorial for recycling an old or damaged book as a travel sketchbook.   The book was called Italian Dreams and I made it for a trip to Venice and can be seen here.

  http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

 

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