The recent news of the publishing of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s travel journals spanning 60 years of life and adventure has had many people looking to document their own lives, according to this article in The Guardian. One of the only connections to the realities of the Beat generation – the group of poets and artists renowned for their attitude and outlook – his works will cover the period from 1950 to 2013 and explore his trips to Cuba under Castro, Africa, Mexico and Haiti, to Soviet Russia, Spain under Franco plus Nicaragua, Italy and France.
Writing Across the Landscape
In these travel journals, one of a growing number of contributions to the genre, his political inclinations and experiences are covered in detail. Descriptions of other famous Beat poets and artists offer portraits of people in new lights, providing insights that have never before been seen publicly. Of these, Ferlinghetti’s encounters with Pablo Neruda and Ezra Pound are perhaps two of the most famous. Not only does the travel journal cover his previously published works but also the out of print books ‘The Mexican Night’ and ‘Seven Days in Nicaragua Libre’.
Journals are just one way of recording adventures and you don’t need to be going overseas. There are plenty of adventures to be had here in the UK with exciting scenes to commemorate. Other options include photography, sketchbooks, watercolours and many more besides. Capturing a moment in time to remember forever is an important part of travelling. Everyone wants to have pictures or references to look back at later, whether to be shared with friends and family to retell the stories, or for public sharing on a blog or website.
When travelling with art in mind, it is important to have the right supplies available without over-packing or sacrificing important clothing capacity in the suitcase. Depending on the means of transport, the packing restrictions can vary – for instance, the regulations governing liquids in flights might prohibit the carrying of tubes of paint or thinners, whereas people travelling by road don’t have such limitations. Art supplies can generally be streamlined into a compact set rather than needing to take the full range of kit. Alternatively, a number of travel art sets are available on the market catering to the mobile artist, often encased in a handy folder or box design. To explore a range of these, follow the link to Jacksons Art at www.jacksonsart.com.
What Is Essential?
Rather than taking all colours, try to condense paints into a limited range. Firstly, a wide palette can be created with five or six basic shades by mixing the secondary colours like green and orange. In addition, many people find that using limited colour range makes for harmonious compositions, too, changing their stylistic approach. Likewise, take a small number of flexibly sized brushes rather than ones which are specifically suited to individual roles. Consider the size of the sketchbook or canvases which will be used – that might also change the requirements of kit needed. Choosing items which are multifunctional can also be a big help. For example, things like matte gels can be used as sealant, glues and waterproofing fluids for coloured pencils; newspapers can pack delicate items and cover working areas; a travel iron will not only help with keeping clothing smart but can also dry watercolours, set glue, melt beeswax and smooth out papers which have been creased or folded.
Image attributed to: FreeDigitalPhotos.net / David Castillo Dominici