Jan 16, 2022

Layers upon layers, mistakes and approaches.

I've tried to write about my practice of layering things in my sketchbook several times now. Every time the number of images and words gets to a point when I throw everything away to start over. 

So this image and this post are opening a new page in my search for a solution: after this, I will write one thing at a time - so there will be a bunch of separate posts, and then perhaps I will be able to put them into comprehensive version.

Jan 15, 2022

How I choose which sketchbook to start

I like good paper in a sketchbook. The problem is that on different days my definition of a good paper is different :) Sometimes I want real high-quality watercolor paper with texture and character, other days I want a smooth surface, and sometimes all I want is something that is slightly coated and will let my pen glide. 
Often my favorite paper is the one that is within reach when I have a chance to draw. It is impossible to have everything in one book so I solve this by taping, gluing, or sticking all sorts of papers in my main sketchbook. Very often it is Stillman & Birn Alpha or Strathmore 500 mixed media journals

My sketchbooks are filled with experiments. And that is a reason why I think it is important to not know what kinds of things will be happening in a sketchbook before I pick one. But sometimes it is fun to try and list my plans - even if only to later see them burn :) I just finished Strathmore sketchbook - and this is the back cover where I tried to puzzle out what kinds of things I will be making in Sketchbook #139. 

Jan 11, 2022

Teapot as a sign that the year has started.

The year does not start for me at 12.01 on January first. This switch is an accumulation of little steps that turn the ring of seasons in my head to some sort of beginning. We put away decorations. We put up new calendars. Festive food plans give place to more healthy and pragmatic choices. Books are no longer littering every surface but are put in stacks in the order they will be read. Piles of "backburner", hopes and musts are reworked into a heap of fresh new year plans and goals. And I go back to my routines. One of which is drinking lots of tea and drawing my teapot. So this is an official portrait of my current teapot and a sign that this year is officially in progress! 

Jan 10, 2022

Sketching holiday decorations.

We just took down all the decorations - from all the winter holidays. Even though I know and support the reason for doing it and am very grateful for the space and order that now emerged, I miss the lights in the evening and all the little things we pull out and pile during the season. I combined some sketches of the tree lights that I did - and now I see that I did not sketch even half of the decorations!

Some lights might come back - after all the winter dark is still here and this year I am feeling it a little more than usual.

Here is a video of the process of this sketch (pardon my inky fingers!):

Jan 9, 2022

Planning for 2022

The planning process is always an exploration and I am often lost in thought. I search for words when trying to navigate, express, and tie together all my aspirations, responsibilities, and opportunities into something that has at least some relationship to reality. As a result, I have lots of inadvertent self-portraits on the margins :)