Friday, December 31, 2010

Inbound New Year

This coming year I am signed up to be involved in two different sketchbook/visual journal classes. Well, one is a series of classes being offered online by Strathmore and the other is the Sketchbook Challenge. Both should encourage my daily art journal and sketch practice as well as stretch my comfort zone by exploring new things.
For the Strathmore classes, they are recommending the use of their new line of visual journals, which is great, the paper is wonderful, and I love a wirebound journal. But the three sizes they come in stink; two sizes are small (for page size) and one is too big (to carry around). I had been given one of the Strathmore journals (5.5 x 8 - mixed media variety) as a member of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. The journal closed:

I hadn't used the journal yet, mostly because the pages seemed too small after using a 9 x 9 square journal for the last year. Needless to say I spent yesterday altering said journal to make at least some of the page spreads larger. The journal below, showing it open to the first page, left regular size.

The following page spread, showing an added on accordion page (left) and its original sized neighbor (right).
First, I cut out about 1/3 of the pages. I did this carefully at the spiral binding with a small scissors, clipping next to the wire hole. Then, I measured in 1.5 cm from the bound edge (with the holes) and made a fold. Next, I used this fold like a flap to glue the pages back into the book as fold outs. This has created a book that has some small pages, some single foldouts, some double spread foldouts, and one accordion style fold out, all in a convenient to carry about size.

Finally, I prepainted the pages with liquid acrylic washes in green/blue/yellow. I have to say I am quite happy with the book now and looking forward to using it.

In addition to journaling, I am hoping to take a watercolor class at MCAD and just be generally more involved in my own art making in the coming year. I made the same commitment last year and I feel as though I was successful, but I am continuing to challenge myself artistically in the coming year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sketch Night at the Bell

Tonight was sea creature night at the Bell Museum sketch night. I honor of the sea theme I drew a shell. They had a wide variety of shells, coral, couple of things in jars, and turtle shells available for drawing subjects. But, what I really wanted to draw was the owl I had seen on my way in last month in one of the dioramas. So after greeting the ten or so people there last night, I went back to draw the owl that I had been thinking about since last month.

After working on the owl for about 45 minutes or an hour, I lost track of the time, the best part about drawing. I returned to the touch and see room at the Bell and drew the shell.
We really do have a great time drawing together on the sketch nights. Conversation last night ranged from spies to unorthodox funeral services. It is also always great fun to explore everyone's drawings and see the many different approaches and mediums used.
Next month's theme is birds and feathers on January 6, 2011 from 6:30-8:30. If you live in the Twin Cities and like to draw it is well worth the admission to the museum. Bring a sketchbook and I'll see you there.