Art in Travel

The art of travel is more than just getting from one place to another. It's seeing, experiencing, remembering and recounting. As an artist I bring back those memories and sights with photographs and sketches. A photograph is easy but not too personal. A sketch or watercolor becomes very personal because one is forced to look, evaluate and decide what to put on paper. Here are my views and memories from trips, some decades ago to some a few months ago. Enjoy.

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Location: Goleta, California, United States

An old fart with six decades of experience traveling, drawing, behind a camera and working with animals. Semi-retired, computer network managment consultant.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Four Seasons in One Trip!

Let's see. It's June 13th when we depart from Santa Barbara, California. That makes it the Spring time of the year for us in the Northern Hemisphere.

We arrive in Cape Town, Johannesberg and eventually Botswana during their Fall of the year. Why? Because the seasons are reversed when you cross the equator.

We leave Zimbabwe and South Africa on June on the 22nd of the month. It's now Winter in that part of Africa.

So, this trip has us leaving California in the Spring. We arrive in Africa in the Fall. We leave Africa in the Winter (the 21st) and we arrive back in California on the 22nd of June, Summer!

Who says traveling is not enlightening!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What is the Art of Travel?

Hello There,
My name is Tony. After many years of traveling and lugging a camera around my neck and hanging from my shoulders I decided to give the sketchpad a try. I began in 1993 on my honeymoon to Barrancas de Cobre with my wife Joan. The barrancas, also known as Copper Canyon, are in Mexico, in the state of Chihuahua.

Please remember, all images are © Anthony Galván III. Any use requires written permission.

For the occasion I had received a diary. I took along some color pencils and started out the trip with this page.

The honeymoon started out with a bad note. The Chihuahua Airline airplane was grounded and of course, there were not other flights out until the next day.

I manged to find an AeroMexico flight that was leaving later in the evening and that's the way it was for us.

Our time in the canyon was full of adventure, just look at the transportation and the hotel.

Barrancas de Cobre, color pencil © Anthony Galván III

And so went our travels and how my journals and sketches began. It had been decades since I'd drawn anything and I was having fun.

A few years later we made a trip out east to Washington, DC. Again, I took the diary along; but this time I had some felt tip pens.

Delaware, Maryland, D.C. Assateauge and Bombay Bird Preserve, felt tip pen © Anthony Galván III

This was getting to be fun. The next big trip was to Africa. And, even though I carried close to 30 pounds of camera gear and 200 rolls of film some of our favorite memories are relived with my sketches, made while riding a bus across Zambia or waiting in the bush for our companions to catch up with us.

The plane trip from Atlanta to Cape Town, color pencil © Anthony Galván III

A few more trips came and went. One to Paris and London for my wife, Joan's 50th birthday. Despite the many photos I took it was the pencil and ink sketches that seem to bring back the memories.

Color pencil © Anthony Galván III

And then I tried ink and really surprised myself! The Seine, department storefront, Norte Dame on Christmas Eve and the front of our hotel, le Hotel Angleterre on Rue Jacob. Color pencil

Notre Dame - felt tip pen © Anthony Galván III

You can see the changes in my drawing style change, especially after I decided to go back to drawing and painting. Our last trip to Europe was to Italy to witness the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. I had fun here with watercolor, color pencil and felt tip pen.

Galileo's telescope in Florence, the Tuscan countryside and the rooftops of Volterra. Color pencil © Anthony Galván III

The Towers of San Giminagno, Tuscany - color pencil © Anthony Galván III

Saint Mark's Plaza, Venice. Felt tip pen © Anthony Galván III

As you can see I started out just doing this for fun and now it's part of every trip my wife and I take. Just a little bit of art training helps if you want to work in watercolor or color pencil.

Let me know what you think. I will begin this blog in earnest with some detailed pieces and commentary of the location. Some of these observations are over thirty years old!

So, the Art of Travel is twofold, the art you create on your travels and the art of traveling; comfortably, safely and always with a hint of the unknown or surprise around the corner.

This is what I will talk about. But, I will also talk about traveling with a digital camera. Why? Because the digital camera has brought about its own perils on the road and most people don't become aware of them until it's too late.

If you wish to see photos from some of these trips visit or go to these specific pages:

Africa - this was a total solar eclipse trip
Italy - this was the transit of Venus trip
Paris & London - this was a 50th birthday trip

Other trips that will follow will include Yellowstone National Park, Death Valley and Copper Canyon.
Let me hear from you.