Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…

Traveling pants…

16 Comments

Since I have been retired, (almost four years now), when we have taken a trip I have tried to keep a travel journal. The luxury of having the time to journal after the years of working was unique, but I have found that I am not that adept at journaling as the events happen and I usually do most of the work after I return home.

Our first trip a.r. (after retirement) was a road trip to Canada. After taking a Mary Ann Moss class I had my soft, fabric journal with sewn together pages and pockets. I did a wee bit of writing and including ephemera accumulated along the way but really needed to get my pictures printed at home in order to wrap that one up.

IMG_9955IMG_9951IMG_9952This journal has pages that are 6 x 9.

Then we went to Florence and Tuscany. The journal grew to 9 x 9 1/2 but still had the same construction. This trip I realized that even though I had many supplies with me traveling with TM meant constant walking all day. Other than falling into bed exhausted at night there was really no time for journaling and most of it was accomplished once I was home.

IMG_9953IMG_9954The next spring it was Paris and the night before as we packed our suitcases, memories of us squatting on the floor of the Florence airport, repacking our suitcases three times in order to fly home caused me to impulsively leave the journal and supplies at home. It was a giant-sized journal,  9 x 9,  and had eight signatures. After I began to work on it I realized I might have room to put our second trip to Paris in the same journal but it kept getting wider and wider, and fatter and fatter the more I added to it and eventually I decided to remove three signatures and create a new book for the second trip. (That has not happened yet.)

IMG_9957IMG_9956IMG_9958IMG_9960 IMG_9961IMG_9962Then I took Mary Ann Moss’s “Ticket to Venice” class and made a most beautiful journal. I made a lot of mistakes, however, including that it is big,  10 1/2  x 10 1/2, and, thinking I was hot stuff, I grabbed some book cloth I had sitting around for ten years. Did not think it through, though. It is silk and although beautiful, any drop of errant glue discolors the fabric and it frays and the corners were a disaster. Hence silver tape from the hardware store hides the ugliness.

I did learn, however, that my absolutely favorite book tape is that which I make myself, in this case painted and stenciled canvas. Plus this may be my favorite binding stitch of all time. But the book itself sits empty except for its gorgeous pages. Some pages are from the Anthropologie catalogue, some file folders, some random papers just sitting around this house.

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By then I was quite frustrated, but for our trip to Portland in March, I forced myself to make it small  (6 x 8) and as background pages I used photographs I had taken of a trip to the same place two years earlier. Simple and to the point and I got the book done a week after I got back, hmmm…plus it was only four days of a trip.

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Our next trip is looming and over the last few weeks I have visited a few blogs of watercolorists. I enjoyed reading Jaqueline Newbold’s discussion of her colors on her palatte (she has a kit at Daniel Smith) and seeing the way she divides up the pages in her sketchbook. Also, while doing a blog hop because Chris Cozen has new stencils available I came across Jane LaFazio’s blog. She had some  unique ways of treating her sketchbook pages. I am jumping in…an Arches watercolor sketchbook and a pallete of paints. Division of the page using washi tape:

IMG_9988 IMG_9989Jane LaFazio’s suggestion was to use spray gesso over stencils and then paint multiple layers of watercolor on top. I had no spray gesso and don’t have Chris’s stencils yet, so I decided to use some white acrylic paint with EZScreen silkscreens I already had made. (From my photographs I exposed the screen with sunlight and then it gets developed with tap water…look, ma, no yucky things to have around!) Then I thought about how my gesso has been sitting around so long a lot of the water probably has evaporated away and went ahead and used it anyway. Worked great!

IMG_9983 IMG_9984 IMG_9985 IMG_9986 IMG_9987So, we have our traveling pants on (my favorite are Royal Robbins…light weight, wash in the sink, dry by morning, shake out the wrinkles); the pages are prepped; the cover is done;

IMG_9993We will be on our way to:

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Author: loisreynoldsmead

artist

16 thoughts on “Traveling pants…

  1. Oh my! You talented genius! LOVE-LOVE-LOVE! This new look! I can’t wait to see what you bring back to share about Provence!

  2. The next Lois Mead art exhibit needs to be these beautiful trip journals!!!

  3. Your journals are all lovely. I love Jane LaFazio’s style as well, can’t wait to see what you do with those pages. Bon voyage! (from a fellow TTV classmate)

  4. Thank you Cynthia for the visit and comment. Journal on!!!

  5. Thank you Lois! Your journals are wonderful and your description of your journaling practice and travel journaling makes me feel relieved that I did not get more journaling done while traveling 🙂
    Beautiful work!

  6. lois thank you for mentioning me. your travel journals are big and juicy!!
    also i love the work of jane & jacqueline. they are good people to check out for watercolor travel journals! i did before i made my most recent travel journal. i think you will enjoy this kind of a travel journal v. much. i did!!!

  7. These are wonderful! Enjoy your travels and thanks for sharing them is such a beautiful way.

  8. Woohaa Lois, I Leeeuuuuved to see your books. What journal goodness they are. I love them all. Honestly. All! I was so inspired after watching this post. And I do keep coming back to your blog to check out the goodness again. Thank you so much for sharing! You brightened my day!

  9. Leeeuuuuvve your art journals. My favorite is the lime greenish one above the pic of the Duomo. The cover of your Paris book is FAB. I so enjoy all the color splashes, I am a sucker for color. I have been reading this post over and over and enjoy it every time. Thanks for posting your link on TTV. It made me happy.

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