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Travel sketchbook: Portland, Maine edition
Over Memorial Day weekend I visited Portland, Maine for a short two and a half day stay. I had some flight travel credits to burn and Portland was a close destination. Plus, the last and only time I’d visited was when I got in a bad car accident! This time, my partner and I flew the short one hour flight and walked 20,000 steps a day.
Maine is known as “Vacationland” and Portland, its biggest city, has an incredible food scene compared to its size. Eating was a big priority during the trip, and documenting what I ate via drawing, of course:
The Shop by Island Creek Oysters for $2 oysters (all day! every day!) and a delightful bloody mary
Belleville, Standard Baking Co, and Tandem Coffee and Bakery for pastry delights, like my favorite cardamom bun
Highroller Lobster Co for an incredibly loaded lobster roll with customizable sauce
Onggi for the world’s best salted sourdough chocolate chip cookies
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Other than eating, here is what I spent my time doing, as told through my sketchbook:
People watching, such as this cute elderly couple huddled up together while eating noodles outside
Visiting the Portland Museum of Art and falling in love with an Arthur Bowen Davies painting, and sitting outside the ivy-covered brick Italian restaurant Via Vecchia
Sitting under the shade at Old Port and trying to draw the chaos of telephone poles and rows of houses and cars (ended up looking really messy), cataloging the many Subarus around town
Marveling at this stacked bloody mary (which came topped with an oyster), counting this row of sailboats floating on the peaceful waters around sunset
Drawing a couple tucked away behind trees under the warm glow of an impending sunset. Also taking note of common plant life in Portland in early summer, mainly pine trees and dandelions
Travel is a great opportunity to reapproach my neglected sketchbook and draw without abandon, documenting what I pay attention to and observe. A lot of these drawings are “bad” but still precious to me, because they vividly recall what I saw and how I felt at the time! Those moments of pure presence are worth more than any “good” drawing.
Last but not least, some friendly announcements!
I’m teaching a free food mixed media illustration workshop next Saturday, RSVP here if you want to spend an hour with me playing with color and texture and getting hungry while drawing food!
My zine “The Dress” is still up for sale on my shop! Here’s another sweet review from a reader:
“As someone who also never dreamed of wearing a wedding dress, I found this zine—with its whimsical fashion illustrations—to be deeply relatable, poignant, and funny.”
For those local to Brooklyn, you can now find my Cobble Hill map prints at Lolo NYC!