Smash book travel journalling 

While I was away I made a journal. I collected  tickets, recipts and drew doodles . I used  free magazines and blurb from exhibitions. I put them together as collages that represent my journey over the last few weeks. 

It has been an addictive process that I am missing now that I am home  – I was very strict and threw away anything that didn’t get put into my book on a daily basis – something I find hard to do at home ……. 

My finished book – I have kept the colours muted in  keeping with the inside. I used a picture of a tower from  Seoul as decoration  because Megan and Joe have a padlock on it to celebrate their engagement. (The wedding planning was one of the main reasons for my trip). 


More overdrawing 

One of my contacts on Instagram suggested that I try doing my overdrawing exercise using colour. I haven’t been able to stop  

For the first one I used the rainbow colours as layers but found that the violet didn’t overwrite the indigo/ blue enough so I played a bit more 

 This is the first one played with a bit more 
  Below is the blue as the last colour which is more successful coverage wise – and one that is less random in design deliberately 
I couldn’t decide if I like the doodle with a cross hatched background in blue or not – so I had to do another one to find out  – I added more coloured doodles into the top one after finishing the blue layer – it’s nice finding new ways of using up my stash of pens . 
  I decided to have a go at adding some colour onto an earlier doodle of a face I called spirit of Autumn – bit whimsical and her eyes are a bit far apart 


Over drawing 

I read an article about an artist called Tim Youd – who types out copies of books on one piece of paper. He over writes each page putting it back into a type writer to create texture and tone and abstract pieces . I really liked the idea of these so I am doing my own over doodle – drawing on the same piece of paper for a week 

 Day 1- I started with something simple to leave lots of space to draw over 
Day 2 ( with  the start of day 3 ………)  it was interesting how quickly I wanted to add a darker line into the design to differentiate from one day to the next 
  Day 3 – I couldn’t resist using the lines from the last few days to accentuate parts of the design today – I.e drawing into the flower bottom right using the lines in the page from day 2  

Day 4 – I am having to draw intuitively because it is begining to be  difficult to see where I am going – I feel like I cheated because I out lined the flower I drew today to make it stand out. I know I am going to end up with a black inky page but – I found I wanted to establish where I took my pen  for a walk today   

Day 5 – I managed to use a slightly thinner pen by accident today  and I told my self- no straight lines – the drawing is having to be intuitive and looser because I cannot always see what I am doing- I didn’t like it yesterday – to day I do – interesting to be making something that is not necessarily into asthetics , not thinking about composition , tone , line quality , depth etc . 



 Day 6 – I liked my end layer yesterday. I decided to keep the technique of drawing in a looser manner. I like it when something like this exercise which can seem quite randomn at the begining developes a skill or an idea- so I ‘scumbked’ over the top for today’s layer – starting in a small circle and then moving out – which follows the idea of the other days 

I enjoyed doing it so much that I decided to add the technique to some of my travelling doodles – I like the effect of the looser technique over the top of my tight cross hatching 

 1.New York Oak leaf pattern   

2. With added scumbling to the background 


Travel doodling 

On my transatlantic holiday I have a kept a book which I have doodled in – I draw and make circular designs ( since the move to Edinburgh)  I have tried to use images and motifs from the countries visited to influence the designs . I have developed a lazy way with flowers so I have tried to push my self to develop different images – though using the same pen and ink / hatching / textures – flowers are my thing 

Not all of the designs are shown below – 3 have been given away -2 to friends on the trip and one I swapped with a little Chinese girl at Tokyo airport – I have included her picture below 


The doodles are called ‘travelling doodles’ I tend to do them on public transport it sitting in coffee shops the last one in the grid above is my logo for the holiday – I started doing mandala designs , but they are not quite perfect enough to be called that , they are definitely therapeutic 

A few larger ones 

My logo  
  Japan and Seoul influenced 
  One of the first ones 

 One influenced by an Iraq decorative panel in the Met New York  

New York 

Jon and I are staying in New York for a week- going to a New Jersy wedding and taking in the sights. We are staying in a small apartment in East Harlem . It is 4 floors up and very simple. The bed is clean and comfy and there is a new bathroom and kitchen – so we were disappointed to learn that the lady who owns it is stopping short rentals.  

The view from the apartment at various times during the stay 

The area is culturally mixed with a variety of things to do. We are 5 mins walk from Central Park near Harlem Meet and the NewYork City Museum. The Guggenheim and the Met are a good walk down 3rd Avenue . 

Harlem Meer 

We have had coffee a couple of times at The East Harlem Cafe ( Jon coffee scale 8/10) 


 East Harlem Photos and the subway on the way to Dumbo 

The weather has been fantastic , sunny and warm, though there was a humdinger of a storm a couple of nights ago. Jon and I decided to throw the guide book out the window after visiting the 9/11 memorial – which was incredibly moving – but so busy and noisey – there is loads of construction work and so many people . 

A friend who is from New York gave us a list of some of his favourite places to visit and sent detailed instructions so I decided to share his advice. We haven’t managed everything 

>>>The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (on 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012). It is a volunteer supported bookstore and cafe. The place is tall and old and quiet and such a nice place to hide out for the whole day. I love it…. and many other people do to. Best to go on a weekday. They close early I think… maybe around 5 or 6. Skim through books or sit down and read one while you have a warm cup of coffee.

>>>DUMBO… in Brooklyn. Yes, I know I am sending you out of Manhattan, but getting to Dumbo is super convenient and Dumbo must be seen for it is what one dreams New York to be. Okay, so take to F train from Rockefeller Center toward Downtown/Brooklyn and you will get off at York Ave. Walk down York Ave towards the Brooklyn Bridge (thats the stone bridge) and the second or third street will be Washington. Take a right onto Washington Street and walk down it. You will get a too-good-to-true view of the Empire State Building framed by the Manhattan Bridge under-arch. This area called Dumbo because it is Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, feels like the authentic NYC. You get a sense of the industrial, metropolis New York is built on; you find history here which is rare in New York. There are tons of places to eat around here, or drink, or hangout. Sadly, only the rich can afford to live here and so even the places around the area are a bit pricey. Walk around because the views from Dumbo are you’re New York City dream-views in the flesh.  

  Dumbo Grafitti  
>>>>>>Side stop…. the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (on 1 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201). While walking around Dumbo, you will cross Water St. Walk down it toward the Brooklyn Bridge and you will end up here at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Alternatively, you can head to the shore, and walk toward the Brooklyn Bridge and you will still end up here. I think this place has been around forever, at least you get that sense when you are here. Get a scoop of whatever they have (it is very good American ice cream)… on a cone please. It may be freezing outside, but for some reason… the ice cream, the place, the enormity of the city in front of you… you feel childish here. So eating ice cream in make sense in a very childish way.

And stop by any of the pizzerias in the area!

>>>Artichoke Pizza (on 328 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003). This pizzeria is a small hole in the wall, so expect to stand outside while you wait for a slice of their Artichoke pizza. The slice is indescribably good…. I wouldn’t even describe it as pizza, to be honest. It is a thing of its own. The slices are normally steaming-hot, and because of its goodness one normally burns their mouth off trying to eat it. Be patient…. let it cool so that you can dive in and lose yourself in it without any ramifications in the end. The slice is huge so one will do.

 >>>>>>Side stop…. St. Marks Place and Washington Square Park. From Artichoke you can take a right on 1st Avenue and walk down to E 8th Street which is actually called St. Marks Place. Take a right onto St. Marks Place. Here, is where the punk scene of New York lived. Now, not so much, but this is still the place for piercings, tattoos and all that jazz. Its a fun walk. And a good example of the East Village. Continue on St Marks and the street name changes to E8th Street. Continue on until you get to 5th Ave. Here make a left and you will see Washington Square Park. You will have seen the E 8th Street sign turn into W 8th Street, so you are now in the West Village. The difference between the East and West side of Manhattan is well experience from walking down St. Marks/8th Street. Washington Square Park is essentially the green-campus of all the NYU students. It is beautiful simple park.

>>>Louis 649 (on 649 E 9th St (btwn Ave. B & Ave. C), New York, NY 10009) I used to live in Alphabet City (so called because this is the only area in Manhattan where they use letters rather than numbers for the avenues). This place and the Brix Wine Shop across have a special place in my heart. You’ll find the greatest cocktails… High quality bartenders…. in a speak-easy environment. My favourite cocktails: the Hemmingway and the Writer’s Block. I don’t know if they are serving them anymore as they update their selection often. Also, on the corner is a outstanding Brazilian restaurant, and a block down a great Cuban restaurant.
And some more….

Frueza Bruta (at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square)…. a show which you experience. Its an experience you won’t forget and an exciting one to be apart of. One ticket goes for like 100$ on telecharge or ticketmaster, but you can find a groupon or other deals that bring the ticket price down to 50$. I highly recommend it… HIGHLY! It is a bit pricey though so think about.

The Cloisters (at Fort Tryon Park up in Inwood)… A French monastery brought over and rebuilt in Manhattan. OUTSTANDINGLY BEAUTIFUL… the monastery, but more so the area. But it will take an hour to get here with the subway. It is now a museum dedicated to French art. Tickets to get in have a suggested donation of like 15$, but it is only suggested so you can pay what you would like. This goes for the Metropolitan Museum as well. I normally pay 2$… “Hi there, I would like a 2$ entrance ticket to the museum.”

 High line collages 

(Subway mosaics and East Harlem graffiti bottom row  )

High line views and Meat packing district   
The Highline (on the West Side in Chelsea/Meatpacking District)… A old rail line they used to transport produce from the port to the rest of New York, now converted into a free public park. Nice sharing of nature and innovation in New York.

Murray’s Bagel (in Chelsea)…. You should have a New York City bagel while you are there. So you should go to Brooklyn for the best, but you don’t have time; therefore, Murray’s in Manhattan is the place. Choose a bagel, and a filling (you could go crazy and get a more complex filling… lox, eggs, etc.) and eat it. As a true bagel shop, they won’t toast their bagels, before if the bagel is fresh you wouldn’t need to. (Actually, real bagel shops do have toasters and toast bagels for their customers, but Murray’s got really busy all over a sudden and waiting for a bagel to toast was a problem…. so to keep up with the demand they stopped toasting saying “New Yorkers don’t toast their bagels.” Though this is true at one level, isn’t really not true). 

It has been a great trip and Jon and I are well on our way to falling in love with the place