Monday, March 24, 2014

One sketchbook, two sketchbooks can I have some more?

I just returned from a STIMULATING four days spent with a long time friend and artist, Donna. If I took more workshops, in person, perhaps I would experience the intense immersion into creative discussion.  Since I don't, having four days with Donna will fill my travel art journal and sketchbook will more ideas than I have time for in this lifetime.

Every Friday, when I meet with the Studio Artists I get a small fix. I get to talk about art, hear about art, often see new creative projects. It keeps me going, pumped up for the upcoming weekend and week ahead.
Being able to speak the language, understand what another artist was saying when she was talking about the development of her art piece makes me proud that I took the time to LEARN the design elements and principles. There was no need to stop her and ask her to explain something, I got it.

Donna, a long time artist, with an educational background in art, inspires me when we get together.
One morning, over breakfast and a second cup of coffee we got to discussing the value in keeping a sketchbook.  I talked about the fact that so many artists I know seemed to dismiss the idea of working with a sketchbook or art journal. That many of them like creating journal pages but seldom use a sketchbook to work through ideas.
She shared one of her sketchbooks where she was exploring the idea of using simple shapes, to describe a landscape photograph she had taken.
In another sketchbook she was exploring the grid and using blocks with items that are personal to her and fitting them into a unique grid pattern. 
Here, although it looks like a rather simple design on the page, she had thought about the idea of creating the grid from a personal standpoint. A table that she loves provides the structure for the grid. How can the items that mean something to her and her life, be worked into the rather different looking grid?
A preliminary watercolor sketch in the first sketchbook using the shape principle. It allows her to see what needs to be simplified further, removed or altered before she works the piece in oil.
Here is another piece worked from her sketchbooks on a larger scale. She found as she worked her way around the grid that each section would cause a new reaction or change. Still a work in progress she can now allow these changes to happen having states her intention at the beginning and not being fixated on what she thought would be the goal or finished piece.
The piece is working with her and she is responding to the piece. Surprises will still happen.



  1. Yes! Art journaling which creates a finished piece of art in a book is lovely, but the working sketches are very useful too! great points you've made...

  2. It was a peak adventure! Donna
    PS Aas always.