Art Journal: Hawaii 2007

In 2007, I took a trip with my husband to Hawaii. Since he had to work some of the time, I had plenty of time to explore on my own and to document the trip. I’ve been fascinated by the idea of visual journaling for years, and this is one of the few times I was able to record what I saw, did, and felt in an art journal.

I made the journal myself before we left and then filled in the pages on the road. For the hibiscus on the cover, I made a stamp out of craft foam and brushed it with acrylic paints.

Hawaii Journal, front cover and spine
Hawaii Journal, front cover and spine, by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Back Cover detail
Hawaii Journal, Back Cover detail, by Kit Dunsmore

Many of the pages were word heavy, but I did include drawings of things I saw and wanted to remember. I also pasted in maps marked with where we were when. I used gel pens, markers, and watercolor pencils throughout the book.

Hawaii Journal, 'Apanane page by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, ‘Apanane page by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Waterfalls page by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Waterfalls page by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Day Seven by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Day Seven by Kit Dunsmore

One day, I hiked by myself to retrieve audio recording equipment I had helped Kurt deploy. The trip over various lava beds was memorable and the time alone filled my head with words. A book within a book turned out to be the best way to record all my thoughts from that hike.

Hawaii Journal, Today I Was... by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Today I Was… by Kit Dunsmore

We also took a long hike down into Haleakala and I made a fold-out to capture the landmarks of that trail.

Hawaii Journal, Haleakala page by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Haleakala page by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Big Hike fold out by Kit Dunsmore
Hawaii Journal, Big Hike fold out by Kit Dunsmore

I don’t remember doing all this journaling while I was in Hawaii, but I’m grateful that I did. While I remember a handful of key events, this book has captured details that would have been lost. Re-reading it takes me back, reminds me of things I’d forgotten about (like my one-day shopping spree), and tells me of things I no longer remember.

The one thing I really want to remember: keeping a visual journal while on vacation is fun! My goal is to plan other trips that are relaxed enough to allow me to do this sort of recording in the moment.

How do you record important memories from your vacations? Is there anything you want to do differently in the future?


Published by

Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

2 thoughts on “Art Journal: Hawaii 2007”

  1. I did something similar…once when going on a nature walk I took a notebook and drew pictures and kept notes. Its saprizing how many plant life and creatures I took notice of when journaling this way.


    1. I want to do more nature journaling, too. My husband and I hike a lot and we take photos but it’s not the same as sitting down and drawing. I definitely take more notice of the details when I’m looking for things to record.


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