Tuesday, May 21, 2024


I have never been much of a sketchbook keeper, despite my intentions, until the last year or two. Two classes I have taken got me going: an online art history class where I used my sketchbook for notes and Susan Abbott's online travel sketchbook class which really freed me up. (And which I look forward to taking again.) Now I approach my sketchbook without any of the fear of expectations that I usually approach a painting with--and it's fantastic!
Yesterday afternoon I swatched my watercolor pencils, then took a bike ride and did these thumbnails leaning on my bike. Not earth shattering, but it's something on a day when I otherwise would have done nothing.
In the evening I leafed through this sketchbook, which is the one I took to Susan Abbott's workshop in Vermont last fall. Some not bad sketches, good notes, and great memories.


RH Carpenter said...

Oh, we are told to keep working on our sketchbooks but there is a mindset to me that it has to be something on a trip, short travel, etc. for some reason - as if I can’t just carry a small sketchbook with me. Yours shows how important it can be in learning and growing and yet…I have several and don’t take them except on vacation! I think I’ve only sketched on site one time and that was many years ago…wonder what the mental barrier is for me?

laura said...

It was the same for me, Rhonda: I only "sketched" as a prelude to painting; like only the painting was a worthwhile endeavor.
I don't pull out my sketchbook on a daily basis, but I do find myself turning to it more.
I think realizing no one else ever has to see anything in it was helpful; also practicing contour and gesture drawing in it.
I really think Susan's class got me going! She's not offering it right now, but next time she does, I'll probably take it again.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Love, love, love sketchbooks! I love looking at other peoples even more. The gulls are wonderful, so expressive. I seem to have quite a few books on the go at the moment - I tend to keep one for each group of works jotting down ideas and keeping the experiments in - I do think it has a lot to do with having a not so good memory though for me - I want to make sure I don't forget where I'm at.

laura said...

Thank you Lisa. I do love flying birds!
I have several sketchbooks going too ... I really need to get into the habit of writing down ideas etc!