In My Sketchbook March

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.