Boarding Pass – Laura Frankstone

I met Laura Frankstone last April when we were both down in Savannah, Georgia for Grace’s gorgeous wedding. While everyone was enjoying their sweet tea and cocktails after the ceremony, we had both independently snuck away to the reception site to document it – I with my camera, and and Laura with her sketchbook. We didn’t have much of a chance to talk at the wedding, but I was smart enough to think to take her picture [below] which started a wonderful correspondence of inspiring exchanges. I’m so glad Laura agreed to open up her sketchbook for today’s Boarding Pass, but don’t miss her blog, Laurelines, where she goes one step further and tells the stories behind and beyond her beautiful sketches. {Thanks, Laura!}

{In Barcelona, artist at work}

last trip taken:
Brittany, for three weeks in September and October

{Sketch and paint gear, trip to Brittany}

next trip on deck:
A coastal voyage in Norway in December! Northern lights, arctic hurricanes (yes! What drama!), not much to do on board, but sketch and paint and sample aquavit!

{Grand Palais seen through spring trees, Paris}

one place you would go back to again and again:
There’s Paris, of course, where I DO go often—at least twice a year. There’s Iceland, which I fell hard for on an August 2008 trip. It’s the most primally beautiful spot I’ve ever seen or could imagine. But there’s also Brittany, which I love with a quieter passion. It enthralled and delighted my artist’s self and it calmed me at a time in my life when I most needed calming. I feel I’ve only just started with Brittany. If I get the second life I’m hoping for, I’ll go back and live it in Brittany.

{Western Iceland, rainbow}
{Budir twilight, Iceland}
{Iceland rocks and water: Acrylic on board 11″ x 14″}

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Besides Iceland and Brittany, I’d recommend Stockholm for those who, like me, love watery light, Swedish cuisine, and elegant architecture.

preferred method of transportation:

Flying is necessary, of course, and I don’t mind it if I have enough legroom. I do love to walk briskly and for long distances.

{Fish on ice, Tom Robinson’s seafood}

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Istanbul, Morocco, Pondicherry

{Placa de Catalunya people, Barcelona; [right] Boqueria market, Barcelona}

place you’d never go back:
Mont Saint-Michel. Imagine a Brueghel painting come to life and reconfigured as a pavilion at Epcot Center, throw in wall-to-wall tacky shops, and there you have Mont Saint-Michel. It’s a crime.

{Presqu’ile de Rhuys, beach with rocks}

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
The month I spent alone in Paris in October 2006. I rented an apartment in the 7th arrondissement and went out every single day to sketch what I saw there. It was, for me, the trip of a lifetime.

{Fontaine de l’Observatoire, Paris}
{detail: Littlefield Fountain, Austin, Texas}

how do you prepare for a trip?
I get very happy thinking about it! I read everything I can on the place— online, on paper, any way I can. I talk to friends who’ve been there. I listen to the music of the country or region and look at the artwork generated there. I also do a google search for art supply shops in the area I’m going to. Like most artists, I have a mania for art supplies. I love preparing for my trips almost as much as I love taking them.

{Poissonerie, Auray, Brittany, right side of sketch}

what is the first thing you do on arrival at your destination?
Unpack quickly, check to make sure sources for coffee, water, and wine are in close proximity to my person and then head out for a long, long exploratory walk, sketchbook and pens at the ready!

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I keep sketchbooks, of course—most of my trips are art-focused. I go to make sketches, collect ideas and imagery for later paintings and projects. I also take some, not many, photos, and I tell my travel stories on my blog.

what is your favorite thing to sketch in a new place?
People, fountains and other watery things, food and drink, flora and fauna. I’m getting really interested in sketching architecture—a direct result of my having been a correspondent for Urban Sketchers for a year now.

{Rocky shore, Golfe du Morbihan, Brittany}{Café Varenne espresso drinkers; [right] Angel,Museum of Breton Culture, Quimper}

on an average, how many sketches do you make on a trip?
Lots. I actually spend a fair amount of time on each sketch, so they end up not quite as numerous as I’d like. I’m going to force myself to work quicker in 2010.

{On location sketching gear}

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
A paintbox, a portable brush stand, 5 or 6 watercolor brushes, pens, a couple of 8b pencils, sketchbooks, loose sheets of watercolor paper, a foldable water holder, and a digital camera.

{Chateau in Josselin seen from Nantes-Brest Canal}

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
Where appropriate, I add washes to my sketches if i haven’t managed to do so on site and then I blog them, adding a narrative to the images i’ve made. I start this the very first minute I can on returning, but it can take a while to process everything.

{Onomea Bay, the Big Island, Hawaii}

website :: Laurelines
on flickr

psst. More Boarding Pass right HERE!


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