Friday, April 28, 2017

Wrapping up the Week

Yes, I bought yet another sketchbook. It sat on my coffee table for a week while I thought about how I might use it. Then it came to me - the anything goes sketchbook.

And yes, I signed up for a Sketchbook Skool class. Right in the midst of deadlines, I added something else to my plate.

What was I thinking, you well may ask? Well, in my constant quest for the "perfect" sketchbook, the video demoing this one implied it could very well be it. It's not recommended for wet media, but I trust the gal at Joggles who produces these videos of the products they sell, and she said as long as you went lightly, the pages could take some paint and ink. This has been my struggle with the sketchbooks I've tried - if they take wet media, then they don't work as well with pencil, and if they are great for colored pencils and pens, they will buckle with the least bit of moisture added. Frustrating when I want to spark up the colors or do blending when using the Inktense pencils or water soluble graphite. There are other features like that elastic band to keep it closed, and the size looked close to what I prefer, but I will not lie; the fact that it came in my signature teal green sealed the deal.

As for the class, I've passed up several at Sketchbook Skool because of timing. I just knew I had too many things going to devote to a class and that the class would probably be offered again when I'd be less busy. I'd watched the promo for this one (Exploring) and thought that yes, I could probably get a lot out of it but really, running mid April through May when I have this early June ArtWalk deadline, I'd be silly to sign up for it. And then the marketing genius e-mail arrived just days before the class was to begin: Did we mention, we'll NOT be repeating this class? It's now or never! I reviewed the course description again and checked to see what would be involved. Ah, it's an at your own pace class, with pdf's you can download, videos to watch, and all the material is available to students FOREVER (or at least as long as Sketchbook Skool exists on the internet). And again, I succumbed to a pitch.

Pencil and Pen hatching practice

The class includes sections using both wet and dry media so it didn't take me long to decide the anything goes journal would be used for the class assignments where, as the title of the class states, we will be exploring, and supposedly learning "fresh directions" for our sketchbooks. The paper in this sketchbook is quite different from any of my other sketchbooks. It almost feels coated and is very smooth yet the ink from my fountain pen flowed perfectly over it, not sitting on top of it; a Pigma pen works equally well. And a graphite pencil also likes the paper. Haven't tried erasing yet. I do love the size.

So I knew I could ignore the class while I worked toward my first ArtWalk deadline last Friday, and could then take a break to start reading through the materials. I suspected that the first section on creativity might be a lot of things I've already discovered and worked through, and I was right. Still, I found the material a good review, and there was at least one suggestion that was helpful enough that I drew a simple stick figure sketch in my sketchbook as a reminder -"Build a wall with a door between two parts of yourself, the maker and the judge. Shut the door and make stuff. . . open the door to show the judge what you've got...worse case scenario it's all junk, in which case you can close the door and go back to playing." Even in play, I often forget to silence the inner critique, and when something's on the line, like my printing session, the critic (or as the teacher calls it, the judge) looms large!

The meat of this lesson though was hatching/cross hatching. I've only worked with hatching a little and usually gave up on it to revert to regular shading. I did a page of practice hatching (see photo a few paragraphs up) after watching the teacher use various kinds on a drawing of a teacup. I was not quite prepared for my visceral reaction to teacup as subject, but after a month of drawing the mugs in my cupboard back in October, I find I cannot face another cup to draw! It was interesting though to watch him pointing out many things that I discovered on my own while drawing all those mugs.  Best of all, I can see how this lesson can be applied to the thread sketching I hope to do soon. I've chosen a different subject for my "homework" sketch, and might get to it this weekend.

I'll have to look at the lessons for this week as well, different teacher, different medium. But first I have to finish up the quilting on Leaf Cluster III. I opted for the lighter thread with the green cast and am very pleased with how this is working up. I pretty much need to finish one quilt a week, plus do a little more printing, to have the options I'll want when making the final choices and framing for what I'll submit to the exhibit.

Not a Sketchbook Skool assignment, but I've been wanting to add something to my Comforts Sketchbook for quite awhile. Having succumbed to yet another marketing ploy - the pies were on sale at my grocery store - I'd been working on this cherry pie for over a week (eating it, not drawing it). Was about to polish it off so took the time to do this sketch with colored pencils. This is a good example of paper that does not match the medium. Meant for multi-media, wet and dry, it's a little too textured so I can't get that smooth solid coverage that I can on a smoother paper. It helped to go over most of this with a colorless blending pencil. The pie pan is a bit out of shape but otherwise, I'm pretty pleased with my cherry pie slice.

Speaking of slices, surprising news came in the mail this week along with this photo. That slice quilt I participated in has won it's 3rd award in as many shows! The other two were 2nd place in its category but look at this, a blue ribbon at the quilt show in Muckwonago, WI! 


The Inside Stori said...

You are far more restrained then I…..that pie wouldn’t have lasted two days at my house!!

Lucia Sasaki said...

Dear Sheila, thanks a lot for updating!
So many subjects in only one posting!
I need to tell you: when I read your new sketchbook I immediately thought to myself: teal color! I great motive to buy it indeed...
I am happy that you have chosen start a class in Sketchbook Skool, I kinda follow Danny Gregory's story and I admire him a lot.
Well, I can understand a little your struggle with your sketchbooks... as I started to deal with watercolor I needed to buy watercolor paper to build new sketchbooks for my use and I have so many low density paper sketchbooks destined to be used to write or use dry medium like color pencils in them!
Beautiful slice of cherry pie, I guess that besides being beautiful it was very delicious...
Thanks a lot Sheila, you always inspire me!

Sherrie Spangler said...

Congrats on the ribbon for the slice quilt! Speaking of slices, that pie looks delicious and would be gone in an instant if it was in my kitchen.

Michele Matucheski said...

A productive week -- Y0u could also use the anything goes sketchbook to practice / audition free-motion quilt patterns before you sew them.

It's always good to find a suitable sketchbook! You could make one that had different paper in different signatures. I've considered that option in the past -- That way, I could use wet or dry media as I chose.

Congrats on the Slice Quilt winning yet another prize. Cool!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Lucia, I didn't intend to cover so much material when I started the post, but once I got going I decided not to break it up into more than one post. That's what I get for not posting as things come up! I bet you'll get back to those dry media sketchbooks eventually. If they are anything like mine, the will call out to you insistently. ;-)

Michele, good idea for an alternate use for this sketchbook. As for making my own with different papers in it, if I wasn't so darned regimented that might work. But I'm very into doing things chronologically and grouped. I know others jump back and forth in their art journals for instance, but me, I can't bring myself to work that way. :-)

And yes, Mary and Sherrie, the pie was delicious and difficult not to eat in one or two sittings!