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The Vagabond Artist is Almost Home – Travel and Art Journal Practices

This post serves as an update of my journey and how I’ve been able to incorporate travel and art journal practices while on the road.

More Exploring of Oro Valley, Arizona

Honey Bee Trail

Within walking distance of our rental house is an amazing trail that winds through Honey Bee Canyon.  On one side of main road, Rancho Vistoso, the trail loops around the canyon.  Signs near the trail entrance warn of the likelihood of encountering dangerous wildlife.  Snakes, spiders, scorpions, javalina, coyotes, bob cats, and mountains are possible encounters.  Luckily, we saw none!  The canyon is home to native plants including Saguaros, Barrel Cactus, Cholla, and Ocotillo, all of which come with an abundance of spines and thorns!

Shortly into the loop, you’ll find an old rock structure with a tunnel entering a basin area.  I asked a local who said she didn’t know what it was. I tried to research online to no avail.  Nearby was a rusted iron artifact that looked like it may have served as a tank at one time.  Cattle and sheep ranchers created several structural dams in the area at the end of the 19th century so perhaps this rock structure was built then.

Views of a rock structure in Honey Bee Canyon, Arizona
Unifentified Rock Structure

A good part of the trail follows a sandy wash.  I forgot just how hard it is to walk on sand. My hips were reminding me just how difficult it was!

We followed the trail to the North under the main road where it leads to petroglyphs created by the Hohokam people. The Hohokams lived in the area over 1000 years ago.  I’m in awe that we can still view this link to the past!

1000 Year Old Petroglyphs in Honey Bee Canyon
1000 Year Old Petroglyphs in Honey Bee Canyon

New House Status

Good news! We finally received a “hard” close date on our new house.  Now we will close before the end of the year – December 29th.  Quite a bit of work remains but the builder must have confidence they can meet that date.  We have a place to stay in Tucson for the first two weeks of January, allowing us to take our time moving it.  Still, chaos will ensure!

Art Activities

I haven’t done much in the way of my travel/art journal. I have been working on a transformation portrait that I will share later, and I use the leftover paints to create backgrounds in the journal.

I bought the Procreate app some months back and hadn’t used it much. I started using it again and find I can do it at night while Jim is watching TV. It doesn’t take any setup and I’ve been using it to embellish previous paintings. Below are a few examples where I used Procreate to “play” with previous drawings and paintings.

A photo showing the results of the "warping technique on a portrait using procreate.

One way of being an artist is to look at objects with an artist’s eye. I have always seen faces and patterns in tiles, woodwork, etc.  This habit is called “pareidolia” and is described by Wikipedia as the tendency to impose a meaningful interpretation on a nebulous stimulus, usually visual, so that one sees an object, pattern, or meaning where there is none.

Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations, seeing faces in inanimate objects, or lunar pareidolia like the Man in the Moon or the Moon rabbit. The concept of pareidolia may extend to include hidden messages in recorded music played in reverse or at higher- or lower-than-normal speeds, and hearing voices (mainly indistinct) or music in random noise, such as that produced by air conditioners or fans.

Read more about this phenomonen below:


I took a photograph of a tile in the bathroom where I see a dog’s head and used Procreate to sketch it in.

What’s Next

The rest of the month will be busy with meeting contractors, setting a moves schedule, and aactually moving! I will change forcus to be less of a travel blog and more of an art blog. I’lll still include points of interest I encounter and think others would want to see.

If you are intrested in following this creative journey, please sign up for the free coloring journal below and I commit to not ever sending spam your way! Thank you all for joining me on this adventure.

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