A Story About Bougainvillea and Razor Wire
Here is an excerpt from my travel sketchbook and a short tale, as to how this quick colour pencil drawing eventuated.
I had two days in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Big cities are not usually on my travel radar but I needed to break up the long car ride from the north to the south.
During my visit bougainvillea was in full glorious bloom with branches of blazing fuchsia colour sticking out from buildings and radiating beauty into drab urban scapes. The sky was pure blue, looking up on my walks was a colourful feast for the eyes.
I wandered through a suburb lined with fancy cars and enormous walled homes (mansions compared to the rest of the city), with very ornate gates, and a fuzz of razor wire atop the walls.
I wanted to stop and photograph all the beautiful gates that lined this street but in addition to the razor wire, there was a plethora of security cameras visible. I figured photographing heavily secured unknown residences is not a smart traveller move, nor is holding my phone out on a busy street corner.
Wandering aimlessly, observing patterns, and appreciating craftsmanship is my way of winding down and escaping the stress of travel. It allows me to clear my head, free from the constraints of maps and agendas. I let my curiosity guide me, taking in every detail and being fully present in the moment. While I do take photos, my main focus is experiencing the journey without distraction.
These wanderings often lead to inspiring discoveries and ideas. I believe that true creativity blossoms when you engage all your senses and let your mind connect the dots naturally. While I do use reference images in my work, there’s something uniquely powerful about drawing inspiration from firsthand experiences. It strengthens the connections in my mind, and inspiration flows organically from within.
So here is the artwork (well a quick travel sketch) and a few photos (above) that I did capture, showing some of the inspiration behind the sketch.