Art journal pages: scribbling as therapy, thinking & anticipation

An artist is a sketchbook with a person attached. Irwin Greenberg

New York City is the subject of much art, literature and creativity. As I explained in this blog post and comments, for my upcoming professional trip I am using a range of traditional and new media to explore, express and develop my thinking. I find that keeping a visual and written record of my observations and thoughts helps to anchor me in the moment and focus on really seeing, hearing and experiencing what is around me. My creative packing list can be found here; it outlines the ways I am intending to flânerially experience and capture my trip.

So, inspired even before I take flight, here are my collagey art journal scribblings so far …

art journal page: curiouser and curiouser!

art journal page: curiouser and curiouser!

art journal page: I heart New York

art journal page: I heart New York

art journal page: New York is always a good idea

art journal page: New York is always a good idea

NYC art journal page by @debsnet https://theeduflaneuse.wordpress.com/

art journal page: don’t quit your daydream

art journal page: Perth to New York

art journal page: Perth to New York

Your walls, New York, hold up heaven, parapets of beauty stabbing into the stars! / Pillars of the universe. / Oh music in stone, poetry in sculpture, song in architectural marble, prayer in granite, an ecstasy in steel and iron and gold, singing city of the great heart, singing city, / You are Manhattan! Edwin Curran

The flâneuse’s packing list: a toolkit for observation & exploration

A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is the desire to hold onto it, to possess it and give it weight in our lives. There is an urge to say, ‘I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.’ ~ Alain de Botton

some of my favourite flânerial things

some of my favourite flânerial things

Flânerie has been described as “gastronomy of the eye” (Honoré de Balzac) and a moving and passionate photograph (Victor Fournel). It is an active and deliberate way of understanding the world. Baudelaire described the flâneur as the passionate observer, responsive spectator, reflective mirror and lover of life. Flânerie is all about acute, intentional and subtle observation. Baudelaire’s flâneur exists “incognito”, surreptitiously rejoicing in the magic all around him, at home among the unfamiliar, finding joy in urban exploration.

As I plan for my week in New York and my packing list, I’m asking myself: What does the keen observer need to assist them with attentiveness to their environment and experiences? How does an édu flâneuse attempt to capture the kaleidoscopic phantasmagoria of experience and learning?

Here are some of the things on my flânerial packing list.

art journaling supplies

art journaling supplies

A journal. Journaling is thinking and therapy. Cavallini & Co’s Roma Lussa is my canvas of choice, a beautiful soft-Florentine-leather-bound journal with marble page-edges. For taking flânerie old school. With pen. Paper. Even the trusty Conté à Paris crayons I still have from art school. As my Typo watercolour pencils declare: the world is better in watercolour … and charcoal, and crayon, and paint!

camera gear

camera gear

Cameras & accoutrements. The flâneuse needs a variety of lenses through which to frame and record experiences. I am taking my Canon DSLR and lenses, as well as my iPhone and olloclip lenses to allow for snapping on the go.

A laptop. For writing, blogging and editing photos. Of course this can be done on an iPad (which is much more portable) but I prefer typing to tapping and the extra control and diversity my laptop provides.

flânerial fashion

flânerial fashion

Flânerial fashion. Exploring shoes. Eco sunglasses. Leather satchel big enough to carry laptop and/or camera and/or journal. The 19th century flâneur was always bedecked in attire appropriate for urban exploration. With style.

(Pictured above are my handmade Portugese Felmini ankle boots, Scaramanga leather satchel and Shwood wooden sunglasses.)

So there you have it: my flâneuse’s toolkit, ready for taking artiness on the road to observe, explore, jot, snap, scribble and sketch.

art journal page: New York is always a good idea