Little drawings that happen in between larger projects are often drawn on the go, with whatever supplies I had on hand, and then added to my sketchbook at the end of the day. They fill spaces around digger things in my sketchbook. Yet I treasure these a lot! During a quiet moment this December, I was looking at the sketchbook from 2009 and these "in-betweens" reminded me about a series of self-portraits after a run that I was drawing, a special meal, a set of soft plush cubes, a conversation. So here is a bunch of my December "in-betweens".
2023 was long yet it passed by super quickly. It was full, emotional, hard, complex, rewarding and interesting. As I work on a full summary I see that a lot of it made it to my public sketches in one form or another. But in any case, I am super glad that I sketched through it all.
As soon as I am done writing this text I will go draw a pile of presents on a last spread of Sketchbook #153 and I prepared a lovely handmade book to take me in 2024. Which means 7 sketchbooks in 2023. Here they are all at once - from #147 to #153.
All of the books are much fatter by the time I finish them though some show it more than others as I continue enjoying layering things to the brim. The sketchbook with a round number 150 was celebrated with some bold experiments- a large sketchbook that deserved it's own tag on this blog :) I had some amazing travel experiences close and far this year and tried to record them all. Some hard conversations. Some beautiful flowers. Dear friends. Searches and celebrations. Good memories.
I did a lot of mixed media experiments, enjoyed working with gouache a lot, and of course, continued printmaking on the go and in my sketchbook. Lots of new materials. Some big and some little projects have not made it to this blog yet - so I am adding a line for sharing them in my 2024 plans and signing out for now. See you in 2024! Let it be filled with light and hope!
Here are links to some previous "end of the year" posts:
In the middle of a pre-holiday whirlwind, a cardboard box with a lovely print appeared under my door. The tag said that it's been checked for a Japanese Beetle, there was my name and no other notes, and inside was a lovely Poinsettia! A surprise! It took me about a week to go over a list of potential gift-givers until I found out who it was from (thank you, dear!) :) But the gratitude for having a new plant to paint started pouring onto the pages of my sketchbook even before :)
California winter is super colorful and the weather has lots of moods and changes. My favorite winter moments are after the rain when the sun suddenly creates bright spots of light around objects and darker surroundings are making them pop. Or when I see a good winter shadow. Or a fog! Actually there are many more... here are a few that I sketched this December:
In November I spent some time in the forest but every evening we made it to the coast to see a sunset over the Pacific Ocean. My sketches of sunsets are never fully satisfying but this is something I cannot resist and feeding this urge to sketch is very gratifying and humbling :) Trying to match the speed of changing colors slight shifts of mood and the unbelievable sense of time running through my fingers is always priceless :)
As many of you know I am a big fan of persimmons. There are some people for whom persimmons are the first thing that comes to mind when I ask them what they think I draw the most :) And for several years now the peak of my persimmon season was a trip to paint the trees with foliage and fruits turning the best fall colors - with Gay Kraeger and Suhita Shirodkar. However this year stars did not align for this to happen so there is only one leaf and a handful of fruits scattered here and there around my sketchbook. Still - it was very orange!