Moleskines and I've finally satisfied my craving for them.
I went to Borders the other day and after a lot of going back and forth to the blank journal section (the guard probably thought I was up to something considering the amount of times I went back and forth changing my mind about which ones I wanted), I finally settled on two sketchbooks-one small and one large, and a pack of three black, plain pocket-sized journals.
I think I'll take both of the sketchbooks with me to Australia and maybe purchase a large plain journal for the trip, also.
My main sketchbooks over the years have been the plain, smaller hardcover ones that Utrecht sells. I figured it was time to switch things up a bit and try something new. One thing that I like about the pages in the Moleskine sketchbooks are the heavier pages. They seem like they can take a lot of abuse and I can use a variety of media with them.
My history with sketching while on vacation hasn't been that stellar. I did some five years ago during my trip to the southwest, but I came away with few actual sketches and a ton of photos and experiences. The latter were much more instrumental in the concieving and execution of a few paintings I did between 2001 and 2003.
Honestly, the sketches didn't do much for me, not nearly as much as just being in a new place and everything in through my senses. Attempting to record what I saw directly didn't do much for me and those sketches weren't very instrumental in the subsequent paintings.