In My Sketchbook - March

Posted on March 17, 2016

Although it is good artistic practice, sketchbooking is something I have always really struggled with.

At art school we were taught that using a sketchbook was important. For each project we would buy a brand new large hardback book and slowly fill it's crisp, clean pages with research, inspiration, drawings and composition ideas. These sketchbooks contained the foundation for all our final pieces. I could see their worth and enjoyed creating them.

Since finishing college however the art of sketchbooking has fallen by the wayside. I love buying new books, clean white pages with so much creative potential. Once started though, I just can't keep up the momentum to fill it from cover to cover. I struggle with the process. I am too precious about the marks I make on each page. I worry about the outcome. Each painting fills me with more and more self doubt until I am unhappy with too many pages and before long I declare the book "ruined" and stop painting in it. It happens every time. I must own hundreds of half finished sketchbooks. What a complete waste.

Since having my children this buy, fill a few pages, discard routine has got so much worse. As I was battling with adjusting to my new commitments I felt that sketchbooking was stealing time away from creating the bigger works I wanted to create. If I finished a page in a book and was unhappy with the result I again felt like I had wasted my time. Eventually I just stopped even trying.

Over the last few months I have felt increasingly inspired by the beautiful sketchbooks of Lisa Congdon. Since allowing myself to let go and paint for the process again a few weeks ago I bought myself a few new sketchbooks with the intention of finally embracing the art of sketchbooking.  Yes I know, I know but this time I swear I am committed to it. I feel differently about it this time. As it turns out, creating just for the process in a sketchbook gives me more time to paint each day. I have been squeezing 10 minutes of sketch booking in here and there in my day, particularly when Fig is nursing or during Bear's allowed screen time. I am going to post up my pages each month as an incentive to keep up the sketchbooking momentum.

Here are some pages from my book this month.

Jenna Michelle Pink Sketchbook March 1 Blue ink flowersJenna Michelle Pink Sketchbook March 2 abstract shapesJenna Michelle Pink Sketchbook March 3 abstract shapes in inkJenna Michelle Pink Sketchbook March 4 orange abstract shapes in ink  Jenna Michelle Pink Sketchbook March 5 again mixed media abstract painting,. watercolour, oil pastelJenna Michelle Pink Sketchbook March 6 again

What do you think? Do you keep a working sketchbook for your projects?

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