Archives For journey

Traveling Doodle SuppliesI’ve never been to Germany before. It is one of the most beautiful, peaceful and clean places I’ve ever been. We drove around the country on a big pink tour bus. All of my drawings from the trip were drawn on buses, trains or planes, making for some bumpy doodling. I decided any stray marks or wiggly lines just add character.

For my travel doodles, I carried a sturdy new notebook that would fit in my small bag, a set of 4 Staedtler ink pens, a small set of Faber-Castell PITT artist pens (brush markers), and a small box of Prismacolor Art Stix (woodless colored pencils). Everyday I watched for things to catch my eye, I tried to discover the essence of each place, recording my findings on my blank white pages.

Here are my first impressions of this beautiful country:

June 17, 2014

“In Mainz we walked up quiet streets, passing stacks of bikes, elderly couples holding hands or walking dogs, families with little kids trotting down the cobbled streets. The streets were canopied in beautiful trees with large leaves and smooth bark. Decorative white buildings with red roofs surround our walk. We passed an outdoor market filled with flowers and caught the smell of fresh fish.

At Wartburg Castle, we wound our way up the steep hill past mossy rocks and cheerful daisies to the white-washed walls crossed with thick wooden beams, ancient archways, white doves, cool breezes, and a high view of the German landscape. Sunlight danced on the rolling green fields, the many clusters of villages with their white walls and rust-colored roofs, the dark trees lining and dotting the land, and the huge wind turbines towering over the little towns with their giant, spinning arms.”

"Germany", marker & ink doodle

“Germany”, marker & ink doodle

"In flight", colored pencil & ink doodle

“In flight”, colored pencil & ink doodle

“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.” -Frances E. Willard

A week out from a transforming experience, I’ve recovered from jet lag, spent time with my kids, sorted out things missed at work, uploaded photos, and let the adventures rest in my mind. Two weeks in Europe, touring, learning and changing, with a group of 30, thanks to the generosity of family, travels never cease to change a life. In order to cement memories, absorb lessons into my life, and recount my journey through words and art, I’m sharing my daily doodles, journal excerpts and reflections in small bites over the next few weeks.

As with all great journeys, mine starts with leaving one place to go to another.

Equipped with lots of hugs and kisses from my kids, a packed bag, and a tidy stack of traveling art supplies, we headed to the airport in Atlanta, headed for Germany. Ready to experience and discover, always growing and seeking to move forward, reforming and becoming better in order to do my part to better the world.

June 16, 2014

“With the roar of the jet engine ringing in my ear, and the bright sun streaming in through the oval window, we zoom above the puffy clouds towards Germany. Sitting by the window, looking down on the patches of trees, snake-like streets and glimmering drops of lakes, our journey begins.

The engine drowns out the sounds of the mother in front of me. It muffles the conversation of the parts seller who builds his own motorcycles. It blankets the woman clutching her rosary in an unknown fear or grief. It lights the spirit of adventure that makes my heart skip, taking us high from the ground and letting us soar through the blue sky to new places, new people, new experiences. 

Below us, a mountain range of clouds, a landscape made of cotton…

A ribbon of rainbow streaked across the sky as the sun begins to set over the wide ocean.

Dozing in and out of a quickly passing night and into morning, I look down to see the sun rising like a jewel on a blanket of ripples like sheep’s wool. Clouds like an ocean of foam blanketing the sea.”

Germany, ink doodles

Trail of Stones

Mary Liz Ingram —  August 18, 2013 — 2 Comments

There are days marked in our lives with white stones. We can never forget them. Recollections, a very easy effort of memory, seem to bring back even in some measure the very thrill, the same pulsations and emotions, as were kindled into life by certain never-to-be-forgotten happenings. Time cannot weaken them. Whilst we have life the memory of them is eternal. And there are other days against the memory of which we have dropped a black stone. We shrink from anything which may recall them. No sacrifice would seem too great if only we could set the seal of oblivion upon those few hated hours. We school ourselves to close our eyes, and turn our heads away from anything which might in any manner recall them to us.

The Yellow House, E. Phillips Oppenheim

I close my eyes, and see my life in footsteps, walking down the path of my days as Hansel and Gretel, leaving a trail of carefully laid stones behind. Here I drop a small white stone, there a few more, here a black stone, another white; some large, some small, images of events through which I’ve walked in the moments that lie before today.

I sit listening to the story of an acquaintance. I do not know the stories of this life, but I see a glimpse that reminds me that stories lie tucked away in the speaker’s heart. I remember we all have a story, littered with joys and pain.

Trail of Stones, pastel on cardI read chapters from an old book, as I lay safely nestled in my bed. I am reminded that our journey is unpredictable and bound towards a mixture of triumph and tragedy.

While the black stones are unmistakable, they are but moments in our long life. The white stones outnumber and shine like goodness. No matter what stones lay on your path of life, life is long and deep and full of redemption.

My children grow and flourish, my family is held in love. My baby walks and dances to Elmo. My daughter grows too big for me to carry and prepares for school. My son spins on his head and enters Kindergarten. My husband publishes his books and holds me tight. My friends are close and full of laughter. My life is so good and so full, built of a journey taken step by fumbling step.

The ghosts that we knew made us all black and all blue, But we’ll live a long life. And the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view, And we’ll live a long life. -“Ghosts That We Knew”, Mumford & Sons

Trail of Stones, pastel on card

Trail of Stones, pastel on card

I wrapped the soft fabric around me, bunched it up in my hand, pressed it to my face and inhaled deeply.

The smells of the exotic filled my mind, bringing memories of expertly pointed piles of spices, rows of scarves swaying from awnings, dusky light filtered between close market stalls; the sound of languages unfamiliar and brass clinking together as the crowds slowly flow down the cobbled path.

Here’s a quick look: Walk down a Jerusalem street

It’s been years – 12 to be exact – since these experiences were my own, as I travelled for a month through Jordan and Syria. And now my husband has returned from a 2-week journey to Israel, bringing treasures wrapped in Arabic newspapers, including my beautiful scarf.

As he lifted the scarf from his bag, I knew that the fabric would be holding the scents of the foreign. I remember opening my own suitcase upon my homecoming those years ago, and being hit by the strong smell of a different place, trapped in the fibers of my clothing.

So I held my gift to my face and breathed deeply and slowly, eyes closed, transported to a place I remember, an experience like no other so far.

The Scarf, 3x4 pastel on card

The Scarf, 3×4 pastel on card