My Cuenca
Art Journal Pages

To celebrate 7 years of life up here in the Andes in Cuenca, Ecuador, I want to share with you pages from my Cuenca art journals.

At home in Cuenca...

If you like chocolate, you can buy it just about everywhere in this town. After all, the best chocolate in the world is produced in Ecuador and shipped everywhere else, including Switzerland!

When I saw Republica Del Cacao's "Hot Peppers & Dark Milk Chocolate", I pondered, How can milk chocolate be dark? Isn't that an oxymoron?

This page is an example of combining, lettering, watercolors, and ephemera around the theme "shopping in Cuenca."

Hey, as long as it has a doodle or two, it can still be called an ART JOURNAL!

When I discovered an old sweet potato in the dark back recesses of the cabinet under my kitchen sink, it has so many sprouts I put it in a glass of water and placed it in my kitchen window.

And happy surprise! It sprouted a flower!

At the Cuenca Alliance Francaise, before Chef Marc there was Chef Jacque. While he cooked and demonstrated, I created this sketch and added the actual recipe for Blanquette de Veau.

EVERYTHING is fodder for my art journal!

In October 2014, I attended a card-making workshop at idiomART. I wrote several ideas on separate pieces of paper and pasted them into this collage on my art journal page (this particular journal is 9" x 12")

I have to confess I did this page in a BATHROOM. 

The name of the restaurant escapes me, but the floor tiles were so cracked, I saw designs! I immediately thought of ABSTRACT ART.

A good reason to always have your art journal and a drawing pen in your back or daypack. You just never know when (or WHERE) inspiration will strike!

This drawing was inspired after drinking--I confess-- TWO margaritas. Then I read the ingredients on the "margarita mix" bottle and realized it would be simpler--and healther-- to mix my own:

Carolyn's "all natural, gluten-free, vegan" MARGARITA RECIPE:

One part tequila, one part Triple Sec, one part lime juice.

It's that simple!

There's always something to do in Cuenca! 

This was the 4th International Orchid Exposition in the Mall del Rio Convention Center (adult entry: $2)

I found the simplicity of this orchid fascinating, and easy to draw.

A field trip to Deleg

Then there were the two gringo artists who rented a house in an outlying village called Deleg. (Deleg is in the Cañar province, northeast of Cuenca, which is in the province of Azuay.)

And one day they offered a drawing and painting class.

This is the view of a farmhouse in the hills above Deleg.

These were some of my fellow gringas in the drawing and painting class. Everyone was working on something different!

Sometimes I don't make very detailed notes in my art journal, so I'm not exactly sure on what building I saw this iron work. I think it was a house in Deleg. The iron work had been painted green.

It reminded me of the French countryside...

The skies above Cuenca are never boring! And there are almost always clouds. I did this rendering of clouds over the Cajas mountains (did I mention we are at 8,400 feet and surrounded by a 10,000 foot mountain range?) with prismacolor pencils.

Paint & Play in the Cajas above Cuenca

Every month or so I host a "PAINT & PLAY DAY" where people bring their watercolor WIPs (works-in-progress), I provide lunch with wine and hover and coach as requested. I charged $5 and a bottle of wine, though recently I moved the location to idiomART so it's now $10 and a bottle of wine!

For this particular P&P, we went to Bob Cox's cabin in the Cajas. The ambiance was decidedly Lake Tahoe, though my Canadian friend Syl commented, "I'm feeling very Canadian..."

Bob got this four-foot-tall candleholder sculpture from Ecuadorean artist Juan Guillermo Vega and his wife, who are Sufis. The central heart is a Sufi symbol.

In the yard areas surrounding Bob's Cabin ("Casa Quinia") were these pale, milky-green plants called "Rabbit ears."

I noted different kinds of flora at the higher elevation than we typically see in Cuenca.

Also in Bob's cabin I was taken with this curling, floor-standing iron candleholder.

Pine forests surrounded Bob's Cajas cabin.

Bob's bar stools sported unique and colorful designs, including this owl.

In Bob's bathroom, I read this sign and had to have it in my art journal!

More impromptu bathroom sketching!

On the coast at Villa de los Sueños 

A trip to the coast to stay at Villa de Los Sueños bed & breakfast inspired me to draw these shells from the owners, collection.

For these drawings I was experimenting with watercolor pencils.

Ecuador's southern coast can be iffy, weather-wise, and our week-end at Villa de Los Sueños was singularly overcast and cloudy.

But Chef Marc was cooking his memorable French cuisine, so who cared about the weather?

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." Pablo Picasso.

I hope these pages have inspired you to try travel art journaling for yourself.

Explore your creative ideas further here:

ART IMPROV 101, HOW TO CREATE A PERSONAL ART JOURNAL.



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