Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Africa Sketchbook ~ Continued

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

It’s around this time of year every year I grow nostalgic for the perspective-changing trip I took to East and Southern Africa in 1997. To continue with my earlier posts, I opened my dogeared journal today to see where I was and what joy or angst my young self was feeling on that day. It seems like navel-gazing, but I think these experiences shape who we are as people and as makers of things. This is what I found:


I drew this at a large bench at Njaya House backpackers. When I was finished, the Australian across the table slid his journal over my way, asking if I could do a sketch for him. I ended up doing about half a dozen of them. It makes me happy to think that there are all these journals scattered around the world and that these people could be parents now, and tell their kids about their adventures in Africa.

I’m still blown away to think that when I went, I didn’t have an email address, I used film in my camera (and took too few photos), and my family and friends wrote letters to me and sent them to Poste Restante general mailboxes, hoping I’d come across them when I passed through.

Travel seems to have lost some mystique since the interweb. Now we can go on Skype and be shown around Sydney Harbour on someone’s phone! God, I sound old. It’s amazing though.

Sketchbooks ~ Mexico

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Yay, more travelly sketchbooks!

This one is Mexico, January 2011. There is such pleasure in doing a silly little sketch with my wee set of watercolours. It’s pressure free, as I don’t have to show it to anyone if I don’t want to (but I’ll show them to you!). It’s the act of sitting with my notebook and my Pina Colada and fiddling with paints. Sigh. It helps when the sun is warm and the palms are swaying. Happiness.




Sketchbooks ~ Morocco

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

I am a lucky girl. The day after my delightful studio tour (thanks again, everyone), I jetted off to Morocco (via London) to celebrate life and birthdays with three lovely ladies, for two weeks. When I am away, I like to do a few sketches in my wee book. It brings me back to a quiet place, and when I get home I find I treasure these ‘moments’ recorded in my book. Of course, I took 686 photos, too! Those may be a coming attraction (though, not all, don’t worry), but in the mean time here are a few sketches done with my trusty watercolour set.

Lisa Hebden ~ Riad Kaiss Pool Sketch

Lisa Hebden ~ Marrakech Cactus Sketch


Lisa Hebden ~ Riad Kaiss Sails Sketch

Lisa Hebden ~ Palm Sketch

This last one has my name written in Arabic, by one of the gents at the place we were staying. What is it about seeing our names on things? At least it’s not on a grain of rice!

12 Years Ago Today: The Africa Journal

Friday, January 23rd, 2009


I realised a few days ago, that today is the 12th anniversary of one of the most frightening and thrilling days of my life: the day I flew to Africa.
So here begins my memoir in doodles, of little me at 20, on what turned out to be a very formative experience (to say the least).  I’m going to have fun going through my “Africa Journal”: a dog-eared, tatty bit of rice paper that was my most constant & loyal travel companion. The above is a drawing from that journal, my over-land route scribbled over a National Geographic rip-out, and the last stretch of Sahara as the sun went down on the way into Nairobi.