Sunday, November 7, 2010

Europe: Photos & Inspiration - by Eliza Wheeler

English country villages, French cities, bikes everywhere in The Netherlands, castles in Germany, Italian canals and art . . . On our backpacking trip to Europe, my husband and I took a total of 4,450 photos! It was really difficult to narrow them down to a handful for the blog; but hopefully this gives you a condensed idea of the beautiful sights we documented during the last two months.
We began our trip at the End of the Road Festival in the English countryside, where we met our friends (the band, The Daredevil Christopher Wright) to join them for their month-long music tour. I can't describe how amazing this event was - I think I had my best days of the entire trip here. Mostly on the trip I wrote, but here are a few sketches I did during the festival (middle-right: sketch of their magical outdoor library space, with hanging paper lanterns and paper mache animal heads in the trees).
The band sang a roof-top show in Paris, with an amazing view of the city and the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur in the distance. They had me sing with them a few times, which was fun (even with my stage fright).
Denmark is the home of Hans Christian Andersen, one of the fathers of children's storytelling. It was great to see statues and fountains in tribute to him (though the famous Little Mermaid statue was on tour in Japan).
RESEARCH PHOTOS: One important aspect of the trip was documenting the architecture, fashion, landscape, and of course - art! When drawing cities, I will be able to get great ideas by reviewing our archive of photos. 
It was quite an amazing experience to see, in person, so much of the art that we studied on slides in Art History class in college. It was profound and humbling to stand in the same space with these masterpieces - I'm also inspired to read and review more art history books as part of my illustration practice.
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