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?

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

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.

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    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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