Growing up with depression era parents means you just can’t ditch that sketchbook you don’t like.
The first page of my coveted Moleskine made me realize it didn’t work very well with watercolor.
The next sketch made me realize how difficult it was to erase….and it smudged. Disappointed, I relegated it to the limbo land of vacation sketchbooks. These are the incomplete and abandoned sketchbooks that go with me when I travel. You know the ones… you don’t care if you get some suntan lotion on the page, a page gets wrinkled, or if the edges get a little uneven from a wet bathing suit.
The sketchbook had some half hearted sketches in it before I started to art journal again. Combining fleeting moments with words, for me, is a comfortable process to keep sketching and preserve some memories. Sort of double dipping. But my determination to keep trying to add watercolor just proved frustrating. And soon the sketchbook, with it’s black cover felt like a black hole.
Enter inspiration in the form of Facebook.
One of my favorite sites to fill up my creative well is The Artist Workshop Journal site. Chock full of beautiful pages, beginners giving it a go, and a supportive group of people, I am constantly amazed at the skill and diversity of this group. Yesterday someone was also lamenting her sketchbook and how it just couldn’t take watercolor. But this smart person was using colored pencils instead. Duhhhhh. Why hadn’t I th0ught of that?
And when I checked in again later someone had posted a link on how to start a nature journal. My new home sits on a pond. Chickadees and titmice have been replaced with exotic long-legged waders. Limpkins sounding prehistoric, white ibis with bubblegum pink curved beaks, a great blue heron who scares the devil out of me as he walks boldly past my shoulder just feet away from my window. We have elegant swallow tailed kites, a pair of osprey, who put on diving displays, the amazingly graphic wood ducks, Tri-colored herons, little blues, an occasional yellow crowned night heron, green herons. All like some trailer to a movie I haven’t yet seen.
Taking more inspiration from another artist, Ken Januski, who regularly practices field sketches of birds with a sumi brush, and shares them on Facebook, I am determined to fill the last 15 pages of this sketchbook with field sketches of my New Nature.
Giving up and giving in.
This sketchbook is full of both. But, after 15 more pages, it will be full.
“Did You Art Today?’