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Travel sketchbook: Santa Fe edition (plus some paintings)
On the last weekend of June, seven of my dear friends and I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico for my bachelorette trip. Today I want to share with you some artwork and memories made during and after our travels!
I’ve always eagerly anticipated going on a bachelorette trip, sometimes more than the wedding itself. It’s not often that you can gather friends both near and far to congregate somewhere special and celebrate together (but we can do this without needing to get married of course, and we absolutely should!) I wanted our trip to be representative of the things I enjoy—art, food, browsing shops, nature, and spas. The relaxed city of Santa Fe provided all of these things in spades.
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On our first night, my sister surprised me by pulling out a small white Royal Talens sketchbook and a hoard of art supplies stuffed into her duffel bag. The group had planned to make a collaborative scrapbook/travel sketchbook to commemorate the trip! It made me soft inside watching my friends put their care and efforts into the book, from collecting mementos to drawing and writing love notes 🥲
I made cards for each of my friends, drawing their portraits and assigning each of them a color that I thought was fitting for them. One of my friends had a Polaroid dye printer that we used throughout the sketchbook—the quality is pretty fantastic, and I bought one for myself after the trip!
One of our main group activities was going to a Japanese-style spa Ten Thousand Waves. Stepping onto the property time immediately slowed down and we were able to relax, as if we were in a Miyazaki film. We enjoyed trying out the hot tub as well as the cold plunge and sauna, and dining at the izakaya restaurant next door.
Georgia O’Keeffe spent much of her life in New Mexico, with two homes in Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch (about an hour from Santa Fe). We didn’t make it there, but we did get to check out the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum located downtown! My sister drew the above flower studies—we were all amused by O’Keeffe’s travels to Hawaii on Dole’s dime to paint pineapples, and painting everything but pineapples.
Before the world exploded in pop up installations and immersive Van Gogh experiences, there was Meow Wolf, a large-scale art installation formed by an artist collective in Santa Fe. It was a perfect place to lose track of time and play, touch, and crawl through everything—great for kids! I particularly loved the room (drawn on right) where there were lasers corresponding to music notes that you could play like a harp.
On our last day, a few of us went to the Museum of International Folk Art. This was my favorite museum from the whole trip—there were so many impressive dioramas and figurines from all over the world, and I loved that the entire exhibit was unlabeled so you could lose yourself in picking up details from all these little worlds. Above on the left are two of the countless figurines we saw. On the right are my purchases from an antique shop we stumbled upon. I was so excited to pick up a storyteller doll—don’t they have the cutest open mouths?!
Summer is my favorite time to be in my sketchbook rather than working on long term projects. I’m outside more, more likely to travel, and more open to play. At the start of July I began a monthlong sketchbook challenge to fill up a page every day, ideally within 30 minutes. Being a busy month, those were the only limitations that I set so that I had the freedom to use different materials or follow a timed drawing session on more hectic days.
The following two paintings are from my sketchbook challenge, both inspired by Santa Fe with its dried chiles and pueblo exteriors. Though they’re far from perfect, I’m really fond of these two pieces and the ways in which I’m considering light and shadow more!
Thanks so much for reading and I hope you’re having a great summer while keeping cool I’ll be taking a monthlong break as I’ll be going on more travels (including Milkwood!) and getting married, aaaaaaa! See you in mid-August!