This summer was over in the twinkling of an eye, and I wonder if I am the only one feeling this way. It was an unusually hot summer, at least Vienna felt like a Mediterranean city without a sea. Luckily, we had a two week break during our summer holiday in the UK.
I know that I have talked about sketching before. However, in this blog post, I wanted to look at it from a different perspective and share my holiday observations. Even before the holiday, I was convinced that I would not force myself to sketch anything. I also had no time to prepare sketches in advance as my daughter was at home with me. With today’s technology, it is not hard to find photos of certain locations, some illustrators prepare their illustrations at home and carry their sketchbooks for photos only.
In the first years of becoming an illustrator, I pushed my-old-self to do things such as squeezing in sometime to paint on location for the sake of social media.
I remember how my husband was left alone to take care of our little daughter on holidays, while I was trying to capture a little street or a scene. This time I asked myself, is that necessary?
The thing is, I no longer care about social media and don’t want to spend time sketching details. I basically don’t want to miss out anything and so did not force myself into anything I did not want to do.
Honestly, I ended up spending more quality time with my family, collected lovely memories, enjoyed being in the moment while taking in as much as possible.
Our holiday in Scotland was incredible, even though we could not see the Highlands; this would have been too stressful with our daughter. Instead, we rented a lovely home and travelled around to see different parts of the lowlands.
Also, we did not rush anything; some days we had longer trips; some days longer breaks at home. Scottish people were very friendly. Most of the time, we got around without Internet by just asking people the old-fashioned way.
We were quite impressed by how people were eager to help as soon as they realized we were in trouble.
The weather was on our side, although I must say that quick rain showers were often part of the show. The landscape, the nature, the people, tiny villages, those harbor towns… Everything felt like we were in a dream.
This is a super quick sketch from Luss village within the Loch Lomond area. It was the only place I visited alone in Scotland. To my luck, it constantly rained while I was there, and I had to wait two hours at the bus station to return home.
For the rest of the holiday, we visited York and London. York was amazing; it is a wonderful small city with beautiful shop fronts and architecture.
While walking through the famous city walls, I breathed in the silence, felt the sun on my skin, took in the beauty I saw all around, and it felt quite satisfying to do so.
The only thing I sketched in York is a tree in the park. I was waiting to reunite with my husband & daughter and had a sudden urge to challenge myself; less than five minutes of work with markers, color pencils and pastel colors.
And then there was London… We were a little naive to think that we must visit London when being in the UK. I originally come from one of the most crowded cities in the world and so could not imagine that London would be totally overwhelming for us.
Can you imagine that we only visited Tower Bridge from among all the famous landmarks?! We wanted to see London not only for its fame but also because the variety of celiac-safe cafes and restaurants. Yet nobody seems to have mentioned that all those places are far away from one another and traveling in London is exhausting. I shortly visited the Victoria & Albert Museum before our return home. It was again overly crowded, I left very quickly and to be able to calm down, I sketched these in a rush:
Overall, we enjoyed being in England as well. People were quite helpful and polite. I feel like I want to paint millions of shop fronts and cute buildings from now on. I took many reference photos, some of them will turn into sketches in my sketchbook, some will be painted. But I also can’t wait to return to my routine; luckily school has just started so I may have some more time. Stay tuned for more illustrations from the UK.
How about you, did you enjoy your summer? What are you up to at the moment? I am looking forward to reading you and to be part of your stories.
Lots of love,