Thursday, May 24, 2012

Psst!... Want To See My Sketchbook?

Hello!  I hope the sun in shining brightly in your part of the world.  Having recently returned to Vancouver Island after an extended stay in Phoenix, I am discovering how "solar powered" I am.  Phoenix had sun almost every day and I felt creatively inspired often during my stay.  Victoria on the other hand has very changeable weather and at times there are days on end that are cloudy, overcast and/or rainy. On grey rainy days I feel so very uninspired but the moment the sun pierces the clouds with its glorious rays I immediately feel my mood lift and creativity soar! Somehow I need to carry my own personal piece of sunshine with me (and no, strangely enough sun lamps and things of that sort don't seem to help me at all). 

The bridal stationery line is still my main focus and I'm now working on compiling the catalog with the help of Scott at Art Ink.  It's exciting new territory for me and I am so grateful for Scott's objective input.  Hopefully between us both we'll produce an easy-to-follow catalog that showcases the bridal cards to their best advantage.  I'll give you a sneak peek...... soon...   : )

In the meantime, you my have noticed that I haven't been producing any new art.  All my energies have been focused on the bridal catalog although a little voice in my head keeps whispering.... no, make that almost yelling!... that I need to pick up a pencil or brush and doodle in my sketchbook if nothing else.

Which brings me to the subject of sketchbooks.  Over the past months I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing pages from other people's sketchbooks -- like Koosje Koene's (to view her blog click here), Connie's (which you can view on her blog here and here) and Amna Mehwish's (view her blog here) to name just a few.  (Koosje and Amna are fellow participants in the "Creative Courage" online course by Stephanie Levy.)  I think people who share sketchbook pages are quite brave, as our sketches are rather personal and aren't polished works of art.  The ladies I mentioned above have inspired me to be brave.  Since I don't have any new art to share at the moment (sorry Amna... I know your comment on a previous post told me not to stop painting again...but this time it's for a good cause.... honest!) I thought I'd share a few pages from my sketchbook.  

My sketchbook started as a place to draw.  That's it... pencil drawings...plain and simple... 

New ferns unfurling in spring
Way back when I was trying to be brave enough to do anything creative and artistic I challenged myself to draw the sword fern fronds unfurling in the backyard.  I loved the curving, curling shapes and now wish I'd thought to take a photo as a reference so I could now turn this into a painting.

The Dallas Road waterfront in Victoria
I have a story to share about the Dallas Road sketch.  I was sitting sketching on top of the cliffs that overlook this part of the waterfront when a tourist approached and asked if I'd mind having my picture taken as I sketched.  The photo was taken from behind so they could get the sketchbook in the photo along with the actual scene I was trying to capture.  So somewhere out there my sketchbook and I are immortalized as part of someone's Victoria vacation photos.  : )

Summer rose hip
The rose hip sketch was made while sitting waiting at a ferry terminal for a sailing that was considerably delayed.  Rose hips were growing profusely along side the parking lot and time slipped by quite quickly as I sketched.  Thank goodness for my sketchbook!  And that time I remembered to take a photo and may actually try to reproduce this picture in watercolour one day.

It didn't take long before my sketchbook became a place where I could also experiment with new and different art media.
Testing out felt tipped drawing pens and Copic colour markers.
Such fun!

Experimenting with coloured pencils while reading a book on botanical illustration.
Playing with pastels.

It would be ideal if I could discipline myself to sketch regularly. I've read that regular sketching contributes to making good progress technically and artistically.   I know some people manage to do it daily but at this point I'd settle for once a week! However, at the moment my first priority is the bridal stationery line.  After that I'll see about more sketching.

So now that we're on the subject of sketchbooks, I'd love to you what medium you use most often in your sketchbook, and what's your favourite subject?

Happy sketching!
- Fern


  1. Wow Fern you are so talented. Beautiful drawings.

  2. Such lovely drawings Fern :) I really enjoyed looking at them all.

  3. These are wonderful! I love seeing and reading about your process :) Lovely in any medium.

  4. Welcome back to Victoria - beautiful and rainy! (On the bright side, it's not as gray/rainy as Vancouver!).

    Your sketches are great Fern, thank you for showing them. They're very good!

  5. I love your sketches Fern... and isn't it so true about the sun... I just had a conversation this morning with my three year old grandson on how the sun energizes us as he was yawning incessantly on this drizzly cloudy morning. of course, the conversation launched into a series of 'why, grandma?' questions which I am confident my answers won't score him any 'A's on any science tests ;-) But they eventually satisfied this particular three year old.

    Won't it be exciting when that day comes where you will be able to sketch every day! I personally look forward to it myself. I always try to carry a sketch just never know when you might find yourself sitting and waiting for something that if viewed differently is actually a window of opportunity to play with the pencil and paper.

  6. Love your drawings! I would love to be able to draw and paint like that. I dabble in it, but my drawings are usually more simplistic. You definitely have the ability to get what you see on the paper!

  7. These are fantastic - thank you so much for sharing. I'm trying to be braver with sharing journal pages too...

    1. Thank you! I'd love to see your journal pages... maybe you'll post them on your blog one day?? : )

  8. Your sketches are beautiful. You really have a gift. My husband draws too. I've been begging him to sketch something for me to frame.

  9. Thank you Brandi : ) I really hope you can convince your husband to sketch something for you to frame. It's a really nice feeling to have a piece of art in your home that's been created by a family member or close friend.