Friday, January 21, 2011

A Sketchbook, or Three


My friends and family often have to stop me from buying more sketchbooks/journals when we are out and about.  Several years ago, I gave my son strict instructions to tell me NO if I have a blank sketchbook in hand at the register.  You see, I have a special affinity for blank books.  They just seem so full of promise, of journey, of future inspiration!  But... I have bought so many through the years, and inevitably fail to fill them.

Sure, I use them, but then I feel like if I start a "new chapter" in my life, that chapter deserves a brand-spankin'-new sketchbook to go with it!  I also tend to categorize different books for different activities.  For example, I've got at least three right now that I work in. 


There's the big, green, purposely coffee-stained one I use more for journaling than anything else. I held it over the kitchen sink and poured coffee through it's beautiful blank, white pages before I ever wrote anything in it, because it just looked too perfect.  And that was intimidating to me.  Here's a look inside:

sometimes I journal in this one, using gesso to "hide" some more private feelings


sometimes I write down my crazy ass dreams and try to illustrate them


I record fleeting feelings I have at times


I doodle, often finding shapes out of the different coffee stains


I make manifestos


I experiment with collage and textures


I take it with me to my favorite coffee shop down the street and sketch while outside on the patio




I try my hand at the whole "Art Journaling" craze that is going on now

Then there's my smaller, thick, grid-lined sketchbook that I like to use for other things:



drawing exercises and practice


fleshing out ideas for larger paintings


finding and cataloguing inspiration from other artists

And then there's my watercolor sketchbook.  This is a smaller book with thick watercolor paper.  I've never learned how to "properly use" watercolors, so it's a fun book to experiment in.  I bought a cool little portable watercolor set that I like to throw in my bag, along with the sketchbook, for when inspiration strikes:

experimenting with the way different colors overlap others


making imaginary landscapes


"sketching" a playground


practicing technique



using it as art therapy to heal after my hip replacement (yes, the last pic is bruising and my staples- gross? yes.  but that's how I roll sometimes)

So I hope you've enjoyed a little trip through some of my sketchbooks!  Though I've resolved to not buy any more until these are full, I doubt that will happen.  I've got a weakness, y'all, and with that new Art Store across the street from me, well, I've got no chance in sticking to my resolve.  Oh well- happy creating!

6 comments:

  1. Holy Crap! You are so damn talented in so many ways - painting, doodling, Sketching!!! Seriously, teach an online art class!!!

    I am totally addicted to notebooks and sketchbooks now too. It was like someone turned the sun on when I found blank ones :) It's like the difference between a fenced in playground, and a field on the edge of a forest.

    Ok, I'm inspired... next time I'm allowed into the art store I'm getting a new biggish sketchbook to wreck and journal in. Journaling has always intimidated me, though your idea of gessoing over things is very comforting. It would also be great to have a place to glue stuff down that I want to keep and don't want wandering along in various piles in the apartment!

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  2. CS, you give me the best encouragement, I swear! Thank you so much for your compliments:):):) Gessoing over the words makes me feel safer somehow. I love it!

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  3. :D

    What brand/type of books do you use? Btw, I still need too more people for my creativity pay it forward assignment... batting eyelashes

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  4. Um, I pretty much buy whatever is on sale or if it really speaks to me, tactilely, I grab it! I couldn't even tell ya' what brand those three are right now;)

    Oh- and I'd LOVE to be part of your PIF assignment! I'll hop over to your blog and check out the details.

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  5. Your sketchbooks are amazing! And don't apologize for you're bruisey pictures...before you said what they were I thought they were beautiful, well I still think they're pretty, but feel a little weird about it.... XP

    just found your blog and can't wait to explore it more!

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  6. Thanks, Hilary! I think it's awesome you liked the watercolor before you knew what it was;) Maybe I should just keep my big ol' mouth shut! Love your blog too:)

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