Friday, May 27, 2011

Fiesta San Antonio Travel Journal

I created my travel journal about our April trip to visit friends in San Antonio quite some time ago but only today had the time to scan and photograph the book and its pages. 
This journal is an accordion book in a box, a re-purposed cigar box that's slightly larger than the 7 1/2 inch square book..
 Pieces of ephemera, postcards, maps, and brochures, that didn't make it into the journal are stored in the box along with the book itself.
I used a full sheet of watercolor paper which was painted randomly with bright colors to represent the excitement of Fiesta, and I brushed some thinned down gesso over areas of the paint to bring light into the colors. The reverse side is also painted but not in the same colorway, and will probably be treated as another trip journal someday.
The paper was folded into 7.5" sections to form the book and I strengthened the folds with bookbinders tape on the back.

While we were traveling I kept a journal of observations and sketches in my little Moleskine notebook that I carry with me all the time and didn't work on this until I returned home. I took care to collect ephemera of all kinds that could be used later in this travel journal.
What I look for includes postcards, maps, brochures, coasters, pins, name tags, and tickets.


  1. Wow, this is wonderful. Can't imagine how many hours went into making this incredible visual journey. Very special

  2. Thanks Bren. Certainly it takes more time than making a painting or two but there’s something so special about making a book that will be in the family for generations. When I consider that, well then, the hours it took seem like a drop in the bucket.

  3. This is magnificent Jo! Bravo! You have set the bar high - love your idea of the cigar boxes. I have a collection of them and have been wondering what to do with them :)

  4. Thanks Pat. Cigar boxes are good for lots of things... watercolor crayons and pencils, pencils and pen collections, bull dog clips, and anything that clutters the studio and house. I once visited a studio where the artist had a shelf stacked full of a variety of cigar boxes, with labeled tags hanging off the front. I usually decorate the outside of mine but many are attractive as they are.

  5. oh wow Jo, what a beautiful memory book this is. love all the color you used in your backgrounds and your photos look just wonderful on them.

  6. I passed this post along on FB-everyones enjoying it! The book is spectacular and I learned some great stuff about your process that Ill use!!! (bookbinder tape; thinned gesso, the thoughts behind the page coloring) Thank you, Jo!

  7. What a beautiful travel journal, Jo. The colors, layers of ephemera and your notes make it a feast for the eyes. The fiesta themed celebrates your trip. It makes me want to visit San Antonio again.


I appreciate comments and questions.

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