Yesterday I made my way back out into the countryside, an irresistible thing to do this time of year, this time headed northwest of our Queen City to Oxford, where I once spent a few years as a student. My dear friend, fellow musician, artist and 2013 Taos Sketch Trip participant Astrid invited me to see the remnants of a show brought to Miami University recently by artist and sketcher Prashant MIranda.
Mr. Miranda “has been chronicling his life and travels through his watercolor journals for the last two decades. He balances his work between the need to document what he sees in front of him and the madness that comes out of his head.” (quoted from the show’s postcard). We were disappointed to be made aware of this show and his visit too late to meet the artist himself, but were able to see facsimiles of the pages of some of his books at one of the small galleries. His approach of chronicling both the seen and the felt, as it were, is familiar to mine and it’s how I approach my own sketchbooks.
The display offered views into a number of his books and I was pleased to see that he doesn’t seem to stick with just one kind of book, but rather mixes it up and jumps between varying kinds of books with different papers.
I do love a creative approach to lettering and there was plenty to be seen in his lovely work.
Real flowers meet drawn flowers in the pages of a journal.
This page below seemed to be a from a repurposed book of some sort. The effect was to make his drawing that much more time-less, which I believe journal drawings are to begin with. They at once capture time and move beyond it.
Astrid and I noticed that while some of Miranda’s drawings were quite involved and specific, others were simply doodled impressions of the moment, and were equally, if not more so, effective in capturing a glimpse of time and space. The approach to his crowd of brightly dressed people below is an example. Simple, yet, not so simple really. I have found that that simplicity comes from years of distillation practice.
If you are anywhere near the Oxford, Ohio area in the next couple of weeks, the show goes until Nov. 12. And while it is composed of scanned/printed images of his sketchbooks and not the ‘real thing’, they are still lovely to lovely to explore. I hope to run into Prashant Miranda on a sketch crawl someday on some far flung travels and tell him in person how much I enjoy his journaling work.
If you like the idea of keeping a travel journal and don’t know where to start, or need a jumpstart in your own practice, do consider joining me in Taos, New Mexico, USA, next summer for a week of diving into the Art of Keeping an Illuminated Journal. Keeping a travel journal is a wonderful lens thru which to view the world, as the work of Mr. Miranda is a fine example!!