Desirous naturally of travel and Juggling Numbers

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, dog portrait, fine art, household surrealism, life of the mind, Odditerrarium, poetry, psychogeography

I thought about travel this week and the newest painting in my Odditerrarium series is titled “Desirous Naturally Of Travel”. It’s a portrait of a Portuguese Water Dog who is contemplating sailing.

Here’s a closer look.

Like the other paintings in my Odditerrarium series this new one is 10 x 8 inches and was created using ink, gouache and color pencil on board. It will join its fellows at the Caplan Art Designs Gallery for exhibits later this year.

But on the topic of travel: in a variation of the curiosity game I shared in my last post -despite the pandemic- I have done a kind of travel using books, websites, Google Earth and streetwise maps.

I pick a country, a region, a culture and look for poems, prose and food preparations that originate there. As alluded above I will try as I can to look at online images of the actual places. Sometimes I’ve even looked for a hotel’s website and selected a room in which I imagine staying.

Recently I visited again some Native American Nations. I have a book of poems from a Cherokee poet in Oklahoma. A book of legends from various Native American Nations in the Pacific Northwest. A cookbook with sections covering various Native Nations in all geographic regions throughout the USA.

Here’s one of the poems I enjoyed.

From the cookbook “Spirit of the Harvest” I enjoyed the text about the three sisters: corn, beans and squash.

Inspired by the Iroqois for one of our meals I put together corn, pinto beans, zucchini, bell pepper, onion with some fresh cilantro and a bit of bacon with a tiny drizzle of maple syrup into oven safe bowls. Then I baked it all in the oven in the boat-bowls you see below. Yum!

Back in the pre-pandemic days I had a small shoulder bag I would carry when we went to locations. Since the pandemic began I used a version of my “travel kit” on a corner of our breakfast table where I write and draw in my sketchbook while we have our morning coffee.

Knowing that I enjoy “small but well made things” my wife found a new portable travel painting palette that expands and surprised me with it!

My sketchbook is 5.5 inches by 3.5 inches. The water brush is 6 inches long. The other two pens are 5.5 inches long. The new palette is 3 inches by 2.5 inches. As you can see below it will all fit easily into a small bag or jacket pockets.

The palette came with 6 empty half pans which I filled with my chosen gouache colors. In the photo below you can see the three separate parts to the small palette.

The three parts of the palette interlock together easily and securely.

The gouache colors I chose are: (top row) Primary White, Payne’s Grey, Moss Green (bottom row) English Red Ochre, Naples Yellow, Prussian Blue.

The colors are selected from my “butterfly palette” which was inspired by a scientific book called “Nature’s Palette: a color reference system from the natural world”.

I’ve been using my butterfly palette for my Odditerrarium series as well as my sketchbook. I like the soft gentleness of the colors so much that it’s fine by me if the colors I paint don’t exactly match the real life objects. I’m describing thoughts and feelings using my personal color vocabulary rather than strictly mimicking what I see in the world. What I see in the world is a starting point, a prompt you might say, for contemplation and storytelling.

In the photo below you see my new travel (ha!) palette and sketchbook at breakfast the morning after my wife gave me the portable palette.

Here’s another photo angle. See? Plenty of room for both breakfast and playing in my sketchbook without crowding the dog on my lap!

Below is another day’s sketchbook session. I had already cleaned the palette mixing areas (and the breakfast dishes) before I remembered to take a photo.

I’ve done a new book for Storyberries titled “Juggling Numbers” and like my last experimental art book “A Scoop Of Letter Soup” the new book flows up and down. The book is being released next week so I’ll talk more about it in my next post. But did you notice the unicycle in my sketchbook photo (above) and in this new book too?

I hope your week is smooth sailing or unicycling or however you travel it. See you next Monday.

11 thoughts on “Desirous naturally of travel and Juggling Numbers

  1. Hi Sue, I’ve gotten busier at work and life seemed a bit of a scramble of work and down time in April so I’m a bit behind on reading your wonderful posts. I jumped in this morning since I miss seeing what’s new with you and having a little comment chat together each week. ‘Hello!’ 😀 Part of what I was absorbed with is the AtoZ Challenge Alliteration stories posting daily on my blog. That’s turned out to be a challenge indeed! I’ve had so much fun creating the stories and interacting with visiting bloggers and seeing their sites. Something new, and more importantly, a couple new friends this month. I love seeing that you’ve been creating and learning an travel vicariously. I especially love the new miniature book! Have a great week!! <3

    1. Hello to you too!! Thanks for checking in!! And I totally hear you – I too have gotten so busy it’s hard to keep up with all of my friends like you! I’m delighted to hear that your alliterative project is going well and that you’re enjoying it! Way to go!!! And I’m glad you like the my new mini book too! Thanks again for popping by and saying hi!! Have a fun week!!

  2. Your posts are always inspirational. I very much like the idea of virtual travel. I am definitely missing actual travel and am itching to get back to the times when I am planning road trips and booking flights. Maybe some virtual travel will help sate my wanderlust in the meantime, I am a family history nerd so I am always on google streetview wandering around places my ancestors once lived or worked. I think, therefore, that mode of virtual travel would suit me.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you find my posts inspiring! When the pandemic began I missed actual travel and doing virtual travel helped somewhat. Over time virtual travel become even more enjoyable as I find I can more easily correlate history or my other interests with a geographic place or a culture (whether present or past) than I could in the prepandemic days of the efforts of finding hotels, meals and keeping track of my portable stuff. Virtual travel, I find, allows me to indulge my wanderlust, curiosity, and yet I know the bed I lay in at the end of my “travel” will be comfy and I won’t have to check out by a certain time in the morning…🤣

      1. One of my ideas for a personal art challenge – way down my list of possible projects because it is a long list – is to try my hand at drawing buildings (something I tend to avoid) so now I am thinking about your virtual travel idea and I am thinking I could draw buildings from around the world.

  3. I think I’ll go with smooth sailing, rather than the unicycle. (I’m liable to break a hip on one of those things.) I love the new addition to the Odditorium series. The painting looks so inviting! (I really think the dog is asking me to come along.) I love your variation on the curiosity game. It’s so Interdisciplinary Studies! Vermont still carries on celebrating maple once a year with the St. Albans Maple Festival. I’ve saved this post in my recipe folder for that boatload of goodness.

    1. Thank you so much!! I am with you on the sailing… I don’t want to break any bits on a unicycle either!! I’m so very delighted that you saw the Interdisciplinary Studies aspects! That’s one of things I most enjoy about self-directed education as an adult- this ability to easily crisscross over the disciplinary lines! It feels so exciting and brimming with possibilities!!! I’m glad you saved my post for the recipe!! The Vermont maple syrup would be extra good in this dish!! I loved the contrasts of flavors: sharp onion and garlic with the sweet corn and maple syrup. Yum!!! I hope you’ll enjoy it too when you try it!!

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!