Tapestry of Resilience: A Visual Journal


We’re back from our six-week plus trip and my blank pages are now plump with found fodder, scrounged materials, a few photos, and lots of writing describing our adventures.

I posted on my personal (and public) Facebook page throughout our trip (Dayna Davidson Collins), so I’m not sharing about any of the trip. What I am sharing are some of the pages from my travel visual journal. In my last blog post, I shared that all of my pages (104 of them) had been pre-gessoed and painted, so all I took in the way of art supplies was a pair of scissors, a jar of matte gel medium, a paintbrush, a brayer, wax paper, and three gel pens – black, white, and red; all my supplies fit in a zip lock baggie.

The daily routine went something like this:

We set out for a day of exploring, hoping to easily find the Tourist Information office so I could gather brochures. Sometimes we weren’t near a TI, so the hunt was on for paper fodder. Art museums were good for brochures, and often their tickets were large and had beautiful art images on them, but there didn’t seem to be as much paper materials as there has been in the past. In a pinch, I bought a bookmark or a couple of post cards so I had images to incorporate onto my pages. Or I picked up bits and pieces of trash or pulled down chunks of posters.

At the end of the day and after dinner, I sat at my makeshift desk or on the bed and cut up images and words to use on my pages. I would make a list of everything we did and saw and began gluing things onto the pages; each day had a two-page spread. I glued, brayered, cleaned up the gluey edges, placed a piece of wax paper over the pages, and weighted them down with whatever was heavy and handy.

In the morning while sipping my cappuccino (which my sweet husband faithfully fetched), I removed the weights and wax paper, grabbed my gel pens, and referring to the list I made the previous day, wrote in and around the images I had glued, recounting what we had done and added details I thought were interesting.

Here are a few photos of me at various points of our trip, working on my pages.

Working at a table in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Working at my desk in Vienna, Austria.

Sneak attack as I worked at my desk in our Berlin, Germany apartment.

The Pages. As I mentioned, my travel journal has 104 pages, so I’ll share a sampling of my two-page spreads, in no particular order.

When we got home, I had a few blank pages remaining, so I printed off some photos, inserted those on the last pages, then added my completed travel journal to a stack of pages from previous trips.



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