When was the last time you stopped, looked and became part of the scene you were travelling in?
I’m always on the lookout for ways and means to record my travels without it being a chore…
both at the time, and later when I come to read it back.
On my latest trip to Scotland I tried some ‘en plein air‘
I’ve touched on the topic before of whether you’re an aural, visual or kinaesthetic person.
We’re certainly not all writers who can write travel stories like Bill Bryson so I find it amusing that we all seem to think our travel journals will read like one of his chapters!
The world communicates with us/to us via all of our senses (at times bombards us with visuals), yet when it comes to personal expression I feel words take presidence. Maybe it stems back to having to do all our school assignments in essay form?
Words, therefore, have a tendency to be the be all and end all when it comes to recording journeys… There’s an assumption that the only way to record a trip is writing in a travel journal.
I’ve always fancied the idea of having a visual journal – although (most likely) like you, I feel I’m not really up to the task – I’m after all, not an artist.
But it’s such a romantic notion to sit with watercolours and paint brushes at the ready with a classic local scene unfolding before you!
So… having flicked through Danny Gregory’s ‘The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are‘ I felt inspired to give myself permission to at least give the notion some time… and a little bit of effort!
It doesn’t have to be perfect – Any marks will record the moment for posterity.
And after my first attempts, just as well!
My biggest joy from trying some ‘en plein air’, has been the most wonderful experience of stopping.
Not dashing off to take my next photograph –
Nor rushing to see the next site –
But to stop… look at the scene… take it in…. absorb it… and… for a while, be a part of it.
Its not the drawing or painting – It’s the observing that is the secret.
Taking the time to notice the details.
And as you look (really look) the image is well and truly being etched into your memory (A bit like how they tell you to remember where you put down your car keys – Stop and be in the moment)
When was the last time you stopped to be in the moment long enough to really observe it?
Have you (honestly) ever given yourself permission to at least try creating a little impression?
If not, tell me, will you now perhaps give it a little go? 😉
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I love the concept Linda and love your examples -It’s visual mindfulness -and bringing the brain to attention state. And you’ve given us permission not to be the perfect artist / photographer 🙂
Thanks so much for dropping by Trish.
I feel we can get far too pre-occupied with trying to create a masterpiece than taking a few moments to stop and apply a few marks to the paper that will jog the memory in years to come!
And its those memories that are so precious – Not the work of art 🙂
Sadly we seem to be of the group that rush from one place to another, and I am forever taking photos and recording in my travel journal, and then blogging about it all later. There never seems to be time to just sit and absorb. Thanks for the great post Linda. Something for all of us I think. I love your jotting journals. Happy travels. I’ve enjoyed meeting you today from over at Jo Castro’s blog.
Jill, Thanks so much for dropping by 🙂
While many people do rush from place to place the difference between a ‘snapper’ and you as a photographer is that snappers don’t ever focus in on any one thing – they point and shoot without really observing – A photographer on the other hand stops to zoom in, to observe and focus on a detail, and in so doing becomes mindful of the moment and the scene, whereby etching it into the memory – That’s absorption 😀