As my husband and I travel, one of my goals is to keep a sketchbook of our trip.
Sketching regularly is new to me. I’ve always written and drawn, but very sporadically. It’s not easy to set aside some time to sit still.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
It doesn’t have to be a big thing that’s scares you, but just enough to push you out of your comfort zone.
I’ve chosen sketching. I’m really enjoying these peaceful moments. As if I was meditating, the world around me fades away as I focus on the lines and contours of the building or scene before me.
You’ll notice some writing in the background of the above sketch. To me, sketching is an exercise. If I am not satisfied with what I’ve done before, the page may be covered over by another drawing, painting or some writing.
Cuenca, Ecuador, is an outdoor canvas for a wide variety of graffiti and street art.
As I discover my new neighbourhood and explore the city, I’m enjoying the many colour displays. Some represent abstract themes, others historical moments or cultural references. Street art transforms empty cement walls into bright displays and gives character to otherwise plain buildings.
Won’t you come for a stroll with me?
Calle Larga (long street) — an ordinary building in bold and bright colours.
Friendly and mysterious characters found along a wall on my way to the market.
My husband and I just got back from Holguin, Cuba. I brought a sketchbook with me to record the major events in words and images. Here are a few pages from my sketchbook.
We travelled in a 1948 Jeep to reach a remote village.
Daniela, who is five, was expecting us along with her family and neighbourhood. She gave me this paper fold out. Instead of a sketch for the day, it became part of a journal page.
I’ve talked about home, exploration and novelty. Since pictures (and music) are worth a thousand words, here is a video to let you know where my husband and I are going.
Music by Arany Zoltàn, http://www.aranyzoltan.hu/
Many people have been asking us why. Why now, why Ecuador?
Part of making big changes in life is letting go to make room for novelty.
It took me a long time to think that an extended stay abroad might be for me. I’ve grown very attached to our community, my family is in Quebec, and I really enjoy our home.
But the call to explore and to experience novelty has grown on me.
For now, I am enjoying the sense of place that comes with being home. In the morning, you can usually find me at the garden terrace, having breakfast among the raspberry plants, lemon balm, basil and tomatoes…
In the afternoon, this is the perfect shady spot for sketching, writing or translating.