Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sketchbook Project Update #1

I finished making the cover back in December.  I was about to bind the sketchbook, got delayed, and am so grateful for the delay as I realized the book pages would be much easier to scan.

I decided sewing a few pages together would make them sturdier.  There are two benefits to this. Thicker pages and...... less pages to fill :) Good thing too, as there was under 2 weeks to get it finished and postmarked by January 15th!  Nothing like a deadline :)

I love the design the zig-zag stitches made on the edges of the pages.

Outside of the cover and end pages, I now had 12 spreads to fill.

Another reason I'm happy I sewed the pages is that the back half of the book has perforated sheets!  It made for a bit of a challenge when sewing, as the pages started to tear out. I ended up using clear archival tape to secure the pages in the book. Okay.... ready to start filling this baby!

The theme is 'Down Your Street' - which I decided meant my street. I thought it would be fun to share the sights I see on my daily dog walks. Here's the start....

The thin paper has a slick finish that, to me, is difficult to use watercolor on. I do love how my Micron pen glides across the surface, though.

Given that I've waited until the last minute to complete this project, I made the executive decision to live dangerously free and sketch with the Micron pen. No time for careful planning.... just have at it!

That decision helped me choose the type of calligraphic marks to use for titles, etc..  By the by, I didn't plan for my maiden name to have such a downward twist - that's compliments of writing with pen and running out of room :)  See what fun you can have when your marks are committed? I don't know if I could have thought of making my name so fun if I tried to design it this way. Serendipity!  Love that word!

I was 3 spreads from finished on the 13th and knew an all-nighter would be in order. On the 14th, Art House Coop sent an email out changing the deadline to January 18th. Trust me, I was dancing around the studio after I read that email :) It seems bad weather everywhere was interfering with participants getting to the post office/delivery services and those companies getting packages delivered!

About 2 hours after reading the email, I could feel my body start to crash. I had been in such a Wonder Woman mode for so many days, running on sheer determination, I didn't realize just how tired I really was. After the holidays is was wake up, walk the dogs, work the day job, work on a current freelance job, walk the dogs, make dinner, paint and sketch at night - try to fit a load of laundry in, try and spend some quality time with Rob on his days off.... Clean? Take down Christmas decorations? Nope.  I went off to bed that night knowing I would be able to get the book totally finished and bound. Such a good feeling :)  

Yesterday, the 18th, book in hand, I made it to the post office by 3 pm and sent my child off to Brooklyn, NY. My finished pieces of art become my children. They certainly carry a chunk of my soul.  Anyone else feel this way about your creations?

Moral of this story.... don't wait to the last minute!  I know this mantra. Very well in fact! Do I pay attention? Sometimes. Then there are the times when I know I have a full plate but..... I really want to add just one more fun thing. During this whole episode my word for the new year dangles in my head..... S i m p l i f y.....  Yes, right after this one project....

The book is scanned. I need to clean up the scans a bit as the rippled paper makes for unwanted shadows :) Stayed tuned and I will show you my journey :)


  1. The sketchbook turned out very nice. I love that overhead sketch. And, I hope you take it easy in 2011.

  2. If this teaser is any indication of what's to come, I'm sure it's going to be fantastic. Sounds like a lot of pressure, though. I never procrastinate...unless I know doing so won't matter one way or another. It's in my genes to be early - always early (which I've been told can be as annoying as always being late). And, as I look at my calendar and see that, once again, the full moon will be hidden behind sheets of grey clouds tonight and snow, I hope you included a full moon sketch in there.

  3. I look forward to seeing all your sketches for this book. I am amazed at all the amazing ideas and work everyone has come up with on these sketch books.

  4. Thanks, Joan! Actually our condo is in the flood plane - the view is from the porch/front door level, 14 steps from the ground :) I hope to use my ol' bean better and not put so much on my plate. Between that and a cleaner/organized studio..... I think s i m p l i f y will come around :)

    Thanks, Rhonda! Late is my middle name.... raised on it in fact! Well. my Dad was always on time... my Mom was always fashionably late :) I spent lots more time with her :) I do hope you enjoy what's to come. Sorry no moons in the book. I can't believe it's been a month since I painted the eclipse!

    Thanks, Chris! I know, soooo many wonderful creations! They say over 28,000 folks signed up for this project! Talk about being busy - can't imagine how the employees of Art House Coop are staying sane!

  5. Congrats on meeting the deadline, and Yes, it is a really good feeling to complete something you have invested so much time and energy creating!