Illustrations for a Travel Memoir, Wherever the Road Leads.

Wherever the Road Leads has always been planned as an illustrated memoir. After all, with a subtitle that starts       “An Artist’s Memoir . . .,” readers will expect to see artwork. Luckily, I didn’t have 1000 drawings to choose from like I did with the photos. However, because of page consideration (Print on Demand services charge by the finished number of pages), I still must be selective.

I was able to place some of my smaller sketches, including a few that were scrawled in the margins of my letters home, and a couple of my horizontal drawings, into the route maps that will separate sections of the finished book. That still left me with more drawings than I could use. Again, with the help of input from my readers, my editor, and a few long-time friends, I made the difficult selection.

I tried to choose drawings to represent different phases of our travels. However, extra busy days and long drives often inhibited my motivation to sit down and draw. The drive overland to India and the hectic days on the bumpy roads there were an especially difficult environment for drawing. Besides, my fascination with the colorful local ways of dressing led to studies of clothing, rather than the pen and ink landscapes I had previously done.

Some of the illustrations are quick sketches, usually done from my own photos or outside on location, en plein air. Others are more detailed pen and ink drawings, tighter, with more strokes and shading. These were often done using printed tourist postcards as inspiration. The high cost and long wait times to get film developed overseas in the 1970s (pre-24-hour service and digital photography), often made it impossible for me to use photos I had taken myself. I think you will easily see the difference between the two styles of drawing.

I hope you will enjoy a few of the drawings below that I have selected to illustrate Wherever the Road Leads. I’ve included one of the illustrated route maps too. I’d love to see comments in the form below this post.

Which drawing is your favorite?

Sketch of San Miguel de Allende










     Spanish Street                                                                                            The Rhine River Valley.                                                                                                                 .

Costume study, southern India                                                                                  






11 responses to “Illustrations for a Travel Memoir, Wherever the Road Leads.”

  1. Elaine Atherton

    Katie, your artistic talent amazes me! Each example you have here raised my curiosity to learn more about what you were portraying. Including several with the map is a great way use more of your drawings. Again, my only regret is that these are not in color, but I do understand why.


    1. Katie Slattery

      Elaine, Thanks for your appreciation. It is a struggle to get a group of pictures to come out the way I want on the web-page. They and their captions don’t always line up on the web the way I want. Glad you can see them well enough.

    2. Katie Slattery

      Thanks Elaine for your appreciation. Most of my art work done during the trip was in pen and ink, so it was always in black an white. Drawings were easier to do in our limited space. In the two years, there was seldom any extended down time, though I did do a few watercolors during our 4 weeks in Guadalajara and while Tom was working on the engine in Germany. The costume studies were originally done in colored felt pen or in colored pencil.

  2. Ms. Karen C. Lang

    Lovely and Brief post. I like the Costume Study. It reminds me of when you were in High school and made paper dolls for fashion design, and some of them were even for me.

  3. Linda Banks

    I love your costume studies, but then people are always my favorite paintings. Way to go! I’m impressed!

  4. carol hanke

    I like them all! Any of them will add to your reader’s enjoyment!

  5. Donna L Becker

    Katie your drawings are so incredibly detailed and so well done. They will certainly enhance your story.

    Donna B.

  6. Peggy Lewy

    You drawings are wonderful! I love reading books with illustrations. It makes it sooo interesting .!

    1. Katie Slattery

      Peggy, Thanks so much for your continued support. Looking forward to hearing what you think of Immigrant Soldier.

  7. jillghall

    Nice sketches! My favorite is of San Miguel de Allende. I have many wonderful memories of my visits there too.

    1. Katie Slattery

      Thanks Jill for your continued support.

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