Monday, September 17, 2018


I love to draw chairs.  They're a mini-perspective-exercise, while also conveying an invitation to sit down, rest awhile and be in community.

This sketch was done in my How Small is Too Small? journal, which turned into a journal that I keep in my purse for "sketching emergencies".

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Sketch Now, Think Later

I'd be flattering myself to think that when Mike Yoshiaki Daikubara wrote Sketch Now, Think Later, he was thinking about me.  However, he does seem to sum up many of my natural tendencies when it comes to urban sketching.  I'm usually critical of my tendency to start sketching immediately, without thinking or planning or using a pencil to lay out big shapes; if I had been tempted to write a book like this it might have been called How Not to Sketch in 1 Easy Lesson.  How nice to find a book that tells me how to do what I do better!

Daikubara's book is subtitled:  Jump Into Urban Sketching with Limited Time, Tools, and Techniques.  (My book might be subtitled:  How Impatient People Sketch.)  My method right now is an extreme example of Daikubara's.  Not only do I start straight in with pen without thinking, but I rarely add color or text when I'm out.   Later, when all the errands are run and the chores are done, I finish the page with color, titles and descriptions.  Maybe I can do this after all! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

August Calendar

Two years ago at the Westcoast Calligraphy Society WOOL conference I took a Word Art class with the talented Carollyn Dallaire.  My August calendar page became "numeral art".

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Japanese Double Pamphlet

I'm working through my current journal so fast that I've made my next one already.  I decided on a square format this time (7"), with the same Deserres Fabriano mixed media paper.

This is my first Japanese Double Pamphlet, which allows for two signatures.  I got the instructions from Roz Stendahl's free pamphlet binding class.

The Japanese Double Pamphlet can be made with a "split cover", which allowed me to use up some painted paper that wasn't wide enough to go all the way around from front to back.  In the photo below, you can see the covers in the middle of the two signatures.  If you make the cover using a single piece, this part would be a pleat, rather than two pieces.  It is hard to explain and a bit hard to line up all the pieces, which are stitched with a single 5 whole pamphlet stitch. 

I did have two strips left over so I made a couple of bookmarks for The Bookmark Project.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

So What's in that New Journal?

 Here's a sample so far:

some notes from a book I'm reading,

a sketch or two (one to remember a great day with art friends),

a wonky sketch from a local park, and

a sketch of the Eiffel Tower from a photo I took in 2005.

I'm quite happy with the Eiffel Tower sketch.  Back in February, I sketched the Tower from instructions that I found on the Internet.  This time, with a little help from Liz Steel, I was able to do it quickly, from a photograph.  I used just a few set-up lines and the whole thing took less than 20 minutes.  Not quite "5-minute sketching", but I'm getting there!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

New Journal!

I did it!  This picture shows my new journal on top of a stack of four(!) journals that I finished this month.  I set a goal at the beginning of 2018 to finish all of my "in-progress" journals and to begin a single, chronological journal.  I didn't know how long it would take - I was hoping just a few months.

My new journal is a single signature of twenty-four pages and measures 8 1/2" x 5 1/2".  The paper is a new mixed media paper made by Fabriano from my local art store, Deserres.  It is the perfect weight for me - not too precious for sketching, smooth for pen work and/or stamping, but sized for watercolour.  So far I'm loving it!  My theory is that by keeping the page count low I can finish it and make something completely different when I want a different type or size of paper.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Tackling More Complex Subjects

Notre Dame, Paris

Thanks to Liz Steel, I've become confident enough to tackle architectural sketching.  Liz  gave up her job as an architect to become a full time artist and sketching teacher.  She gives lots of free tips on her blog and I'm looking forward to reading her book. 

I sketched this from a photo I took in 2005.  These are my favorite flying buttresses!