Most of you know that I walked the Camino de Santiago with my sister last year. We walked 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port near the southern border of France to Santiago de Compostella in the northwest corner of Spain. We started walking May 1st and it took us 40 days including 4 rest days. There are countless books, websites and other resources about this ancient pilgrimage route that one can easily google so I won’t regale you with its historical significance on my wee blog.
I didn’t intend to draw a picture every day, and actually hadn’t really ever drawn directly in my journal before. I had taken a perspective class during the fall of 2012 at PNCA’s continuing ed program with a wonderful teacher, Kurt Holloman, that had re-introduced me to journal drawing and thought I might try my hand when compelled.
I started walking in the morning with my sister and then would walk my own pace after lunch. This usually dictated I was walking solo as my 6’3″ stride is hard to match. (Especially when I am walking with my Pacer Poles. If you are not a fan of walking sticks, you will change your mind on the Camino. They become a treasured extension of your body) I would then arrive at our decided destination, find a place with 2 available bunks, and sit outside and wait. We did not bring cell phones on our trip, so I would wait for Lissa to come walking by so she would know where we were staying for the night. After procuring a glass of wine, I would then sit down and begin to draw whatever captured my attention. This quickly became a part of my daily routine and something I looked forward to every afternoon. The drawing above is from a small town called Castro Jerez where we stayed on day 17 of walking. A huge storm was sweeping in, grey and moody, where I could see the Camino climbing the hill in the distance.
I ended with a entire book full of drawings and they are all precious to me. Not because they are technically amazing or precise. They are all simply drawn with a ballpoint, a medium fine point sharpie and a teeny tiny watercolor kit housed in a mini altoid tin. They change in skill and style as the miles pass, becoming bolder in line work and color. They are precious to me because when I look at these drawings each moment comes rushing back and I remember: the sounds, the weather, my tired body and the pure delight that felt like it was seeping out of my skin.
I am working on pulling these drawings together for a larger project so I will share updates with you along the way.