A visit to the DMZ

Whilst in Seoul we decided to pay a visit to the Demilitarised Zone or DMZ.
We are not tour type folks but the only way you can visit the DMZ is via a bus tour because lets face it, the place is technically still a war zone. Having to take a tour meant we had to travel at the rate established by the group.

travel journal sketchSo I could only draw something simple which I have shared with this page spread. The photo was taken before I wrote in my journal about the day. One of the souvenirs tourists could purchase was a section of barb wire that had been used! Each piece had a serial number and was authenticated.

DMZ prayer ribbons KoreaAt Paju there is a bullet ridden steam train which is going nowhere as the bridge it crosses has been blown up. Beside the train people tie ribbons to represent wishes/prayers for peace and unification.

DMZ Merry-go-roundThere is fun park area that contains the quirkiest merry-go-round I have seen as is is composed of cute stylised rickshaws.

DMZ Merry-go-roundIt was very surreal to walk from a barbwire defined guarded border to  play ground!

The actual tour is interesting as in may ways as the war and living as divided country has shaped the national psyche.

More photos taken in Korea coming soon from Jerry.


Sketching gear organised and art materials packed!

Sketching GearI thought I would share with you what I have packed in my sketch kit for our big trip and then when I get back from my trip I will share with you the things that did not work and what I did not use! No doubt along the way I will babble here and share what is working.

So this is a photograph of what I am taking. Let me describe it in more detail.

Sketching Gear -sketch booksI am taking 2 Daler Rowney sketchbooks of 150 gsm cartridge paper, that are bound in landscape format. This will be either a delight or a curse I am not sure yet, as being landscape they open out quite large and working with them in cramped space might be a problem but I do like the size. A page measures 27 cm (10 half inches) by 21.5 cms (8 and a half inches) I like a bit of elbow room as I was taught to draw from the shoulder a smaller book feels a bit frustrating at times. I am taking 2 as my regular journal/studio journal activity chews through a sketchbook in about 6 weeks. I will be away 9 weeks so I figure since I have just started one of the books on September first, I will go through 2 sketchbooks.

watercolour pencilsIn the pencils rolls I have a set of Derwent water-colour pencils which as you can see are not new. When out and about, I can use these, then when home or in this case when back to where we are staying, I can add water.
I also treated myself to a set of their new Inktense pencils. I have done a few swatch tests  but as yet have not really used them. When I tested them,  I loved the intensity of colour in this product line so I will let you know what I think of them. Both sets are carried in pencil rolls to protect them as too much banging about can break the leads.

Sketching Gear watercoloursI will carry a set of watercolour paints in field box which I have used for years. Next in plastic carry pack which is made to be able to show airport security what bathroom items you are carrying. In it, I have some water soluble graphite pencils, a small spritzer, 4 water brushes, ( I am a glutton for brushes)  and a small plastic water container. I also have, a few sheets of kitchen towels, tissues and hand wipes to help with clean up. These I will replace as I run out.
I may add some regular brushes as I will have some evenings to play in my journal too. I am still thinking about it.

Sketching GearNext is my drawing gear which is also held in a clear plastic carry pack. I have a set of Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens which I love. They are a set of 8 black pens with various nibs. In the clear plastic bag is bull dog clips to hold flapping pages of a sketch book in place, graphite pencils HB, 2B, 6B and woodless graphite pencils 2B, 6B, pencil extenders, pencil sharpener that catches shavings, a plastic eraser and a kneadable eraser.

In the next clear plastic airport security bag (I don’t know what I would do without these) I have scissors, tape glue sticks, double sided tape, washi tape, and small knife. This bag will get packed in my luggage that goes in the hold as taking on the plane with me will not be allowed. Basically I grouped all glueing and cutting materials together in this bag and I will probably use it of an evening when back at where I am staying rather than carting this stuff around with me all the time. I also have a small packet of paper ephemera which may get added.

Sketching Gear bagA trip to a luggage store solved what bag I will carry all this stuff in as I spotted a bag that is part of a packing system meant to keep clothes in order. I thought that it could keep art gear in order. It is double sided square bag with a handle. Many of these types of packing systems don’t have a handle but this one does which means I can carry it around easily. One side holds all my gear with plenty of room to spare and the other holds the sketch book.

Sketching Gear bag 3The lot zips up and I can carry it as is or if I am out for the day it fits easily into my small back pack. The weight is such that I can walk for miles without a problem. I think however I will be carrying it as it is in most places. It is like carrying a very small suit case or large handbag. Hey there is even extra space to stuff some shopping in!

Sketching Gear bag 2The fisherman’s chair has a strap to sling over the shoulder or that too can fit in my back pack. I also will add a water bottle, wipes for my glasses glasses, sun glasses, and some sunblock.

Sketching Gear bag 4Hopefully I have not forgotten anything. I will let you know what I used and needed and what I did not require.


Everyday Matters Drawing Challenge 309 in preparation for a trip!

EDM challenge drawing 309Here I am with another drawing challenge prompt. This time it is Number 309. Draw something with more than 2 leg. Once again I used my water colours.

As You can see I have a fishing chair. I purchased this as we are going travelling and I felt I needed a little portable chair to use when sketching. It collapses and is light to carry . So I hope it works.

I have made references to going on a big trip but I have not said just how big it is! It is time to spill the beans.

We will be away for 2 months and I hope to draw while travelling and share some of the sketches here.

This is the plan on Friday we leave Australia via Sydney and fly to Korea to visit in Seoul for 3 days before going on to Paris. We always try to break our trip as the flight between Australia and Europe is between 22-26 hours and when you arrive usually we are totally knocked out for week! A break in the long flight allows us to arrive in better shape.

We plan to stay in Paris for a month and have rented an apartment as it is a city I have always wanted to stay longer in. The last time I was there I stayed for 5 days and it simply is not enough time to see a place. I want to get past the rush to see this, and the rush to see that mentality. I want to be able to take in the city at a slower and hopefully more considered pace. I also want to draw.

After our month in Paris we plan to stay in another apartment in Arles in the South of France. We will be there for just over a week and have a hire car so we can visit some of the areas around Arles.

The next step on the plan involves catching train to Paris then the Eurostar to London. We will be staying the Covent Garden area for nearly a week before catching a train to Salisbury. Once again we will hire a car for a few days and investigate the surrounding districts before returning to London for our last week in the UK. Then it will be time to fly back to Australia but not without stopping for 3 days in Tokyo on the way home.

I hope to get lots of sketching done sitting on my new fishing stool!

Stay tuned as I will post details about the rest of the sketching kit I take with me. As soon as I get a break to photograph and make a list of what is in it.