Pages of my recent sketchbook

Last week I finished the last page in a sketchbook that I began in October. Keeping a sketchbook used to be a practice that when people would suggest to me (professors, other artists, whomever) I might nod and agree, maybe an internal eye-roll, like yes, one more thing to do. But, over the past few years that I have made it a regular and integrated practice, it truly is invaluable to me. Having this small portable evidence of my thoughts and ideas to carry around is a mental boost, a surge of self-confidence. Seeing the work all together, flipping through pages, and recalling my thoughts at specific times is interesting, a visual chart of growth. Entries from seven months ago are as fresh as entries from two weeks ago. Time is a strange creature. 

And just as important is the act of making. Sometimes my entries are preparations before I paint on something larger, sometimes an entry is part of my quiet time, or it's at the end of a long teaching day, or made during the in between moments of daily tasks. Even at the end of teaching days when I'm too tired to paint anything else, if I have touched my sketchbook and put brush or pencil to a page, then I feel I have accomplished a moment of meeting my art on that day. So it is a communicative tool in that sense, a way for me to interact with my art, to keep the relationship alive. And the privacy of the format allows me to be open during the process. I know I don't have to share anything in it with anyone else. And while I do share some pages online on my public IG account, I still consider my sketchbook to be private and just for me.


Sketchbook Wednesday

A small collection of my recent sketchbook entries. The first one is from today, with the written thought, "If a painting's title could be a sound." In the second one (top right) I set up a color exercise by continually adding to one color, rather than hopping about the palette to whatever color I chose. So essentially, color + color + color, and so forth. This process made some muted values and tints that perhaps stretch a bit beyond my norm. And in the bottom right entry, sometimes I like to simply look at an object and draw it, in this case, flowers to beckon spring.

Sketchbook pages from the first week of January and an Inspiration list

I thought I'd share a few pages from my sketchbook, entries from these first days of January. At the end of December I ordered a new sketchbook for the year and a bunch of pens and brush pens. The order didn't arrive in time so luckily there were a few pages left in last year's sketchbook that I could work on. I anticipate by the end of this next week I'll be starting the new one. I like that this sketchbook will be completely full of entries. It's been fun working with new materials, ones that I can keep in a small box to use in the house. I've been spending a little time of a morning after breakfast or evening before dinner working at the dining table in my sketchbook, bookending the day with that time of quiet.

Inspiration list: documentaries, a book, and an online project: 

  • For some reason, I've been on a documentary kick lately. Here's three favorites:

Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League's New York

The Rape of Europa

How to Make a Book with Steidl

"Focused around accessible, everyday materials like shipping boxes, shoeboxes, junk mail envelopes, newspapers, maps, found books, and other paper ephemera, The Paper Playhouse has 22 projects aimed at inspiring modern families to create unique paper crafts. It includes artwork by over 20 leading contemporary artists in the curated gallery section; offers original quotes from celebrated authors, directors, and artists throughout; and is packed with gorgeous, original photography by award-winning photographer, Leslie Sophia Lindell." 

I'm also pleased to have a few of my paper pieces in the gallery section along with so many great artists. 

I hope your new year is off to an inspiring beginning.

Sketchbook & a summer garden supper

Sketchbook entry from 6.17

Sketchbook entry from 6.17

Our supper plates this week have been full of produce from our summer garden. We are spoiled with veggies. Overgrown sugar snaps were shelled, the peas boiled and mashed, onions sautéed and tossed with the mashed peas, one egg added, mixed, then formed into croquettes (or cookies as we call them) and fried in a thin layer of butter. Top with a dollop of sriracha mayo. Side that with kohlrabi and beet slaw, pan roasted new potatoes with rosemary, and the first handful of green beans. Good good good. Last night we sautéed broccoli and sugar snaps, so tender, green, and delicious.

Soon I want to make this chocolate-beet cake.

Tend is in full force with some new guests this year.