Monday, 30 March 2009

Journal Inspiration

This week I decided to blog about one of my favorite books out there. It's chock full of inspiration for every journal keeper (beware: it'll also really make you want to go to France). It's Sara Midda's South of France, A Sketchbook. This book is organized by month as she describes a year spent in the south of France. I find this book so inspiring and never gets old.

I've selected some of my favorite ideas that I've grown to incorporate in my own journal keeping over the years. First, make little color swatches of things around you. Look at an object, or the sky, or a landscape and try to match the color with watercolor or colored pencils, and label what it is. Not only is it a great way to capture a memory, it's also a great way to use some inspiration when you're back home as a reference for other projects you may need a color scheme for. No one designs more gorgeous color palates than nature, so try to capture it in tiny little swatches. I love how on this page she also incorporates some pattern.

Another favorite exercise is to draw every day objects, like these sugar cube wrappings. For me, one of the exciting aspects of traveling in another country is the joy of seeing how different their every day objects are from my own. She also paints things like numbers from houses and different types of olives. These are simple things that are quick to put into your sketchbook while sipping a coffee at a cafe or when you stop to rest your feet at a local market.

I never tire of this book. I pick it up often and flip through it and think of it when I'm out with a journal. Paint an olive, describe what it tastes like, describe where you are while you're eating it, years later it will bring you right back to that cafe. I find it's easier to remember the big things, but it's the little things that more easily slip away and yet, the little things are what make traveling so special.

This last photo is of the gorgeous end pages. I just love how the text is making its own pattern. I couldn't resist sharing it. Pick this up from your local library, or buy it for your home. I promise, it'll inspire you!


PrairiePeasant said...

I'm not very good at keeping a journal or sketchbook, but I completely agree with how inspiring Sara Midda's work is. I have a copy of "In and Out of the Garden" and it is so beautiful for her calligraphy and watercolour paintings.

Laura said...

What a beautiful book - so inspiring! I'm a terrible journal-keeper, but that makes me want to try it again... The page with the numbers is lovely!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this - I went out and got it immediately and LOVE it!