Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sketchbooks and Sketching

I've been doing the Sketchbook Revival activities over the past little while.  I'm not a sketchbook person, but somehow I signed up for these posts, then forgot and was surprised to get the Day 1 reminder in my email.   Since the vast majority of my creative pursuits are guided by intuition rather than planning, I just went with it. My intention for the Sketchbook Revival was to find a way to be more comfortable with the transitions and to allow myself to be a Confident Explorer.

I've been looking for ways to get more comfortable with the ebb and flow of a creative life.  Transitions are not fun for me.  They are full of panic and fear - and dealing with those feelings only makes it harder to get in the flow of the next project.  Once I'm in the flow, I'm great.

It's transition time right now and here I am getting these great posts and vids all about using sketchbooks, which I don't use the way these guys do at all. [I have sketchbooks that I use for thumbnails, scribbles, notes, really awful attempts at drawing things.  They are nothing to be proud of and I am not exaggerating or being modest.  They are crap.]  As I listened, I kept hearing the term 'creative practice'. 

After a few days, I realized that I don't 'really have a creative practice.   I have a creative business. 

I have a business practice.

I have a busy-ness practice.

No creative practice. 

Huh.    I want to change that.

So, during the very next video, which was the one by Val Webb, I got out one of my crap sketchbooks, my favorite mechanical pencil with an eraser that never stops and a really awesome carbon ink pen [by Jane Davenport that was a gift from my awesome mom] and decided to play along. 

Val Webb is a superb teacher.  Kind, patient and gentle.  Before I knew it, I had a heron sketched out in pencil, then over that in permanent ink.   And then I added all the background stuff and water in ink, spontaneously with no pencil first.   It may not sound like much, but committing a drawing on paper in ink is a big deal for me. 

If I'm going to be really honest, I'm considering doing more of this kind of sketching in a real sketchbook devoted to this kind of work...but only because this one turned out ok.   I have discovered that I'm that person who only considers doing more of something if she can do it reasonably well out of the box.  I don't like to be bad at things and certainly never in public. 

That part of myself is governed by fear and I'm not very happy with that so I'll be thinking about this a lot more.   But hopefully, I'll be doing a lot more of these nature/bird sketches.  I actually ordered a sketchbook for it. I'm going to work these into some sort of real 'creative practice.' 

I'll keep you posted.


  1. All I can say is Amen sister! I have had a business (busyness) practice as well. I found myself continually trying to come up with something each week for my blog and no time left for the joy of creating, experimenting, or playing in my sketchbooks. If you read my post this week, you will see that I have decided to cut down on the frequency of my posts. Between the business and family responsibilities I need to find some “down time.” Sketchbooks are a wonderful way for me to just take time to play and have the joy of painting for myself. It really takes the pressure off! I hope you find this same type of value when creating in them!

    1. I totally understand! I keep reminding myself that resting is an important part of the cycle. I'm so glad you weighed in on this.


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