Over the last few years, we’ve written about sketching a few times. We discovered Sketchbook Skool in 2015 and have been practicing ever since – watercolour, lettering, quieting down the art critic in our heads and working at a creative habit.
I recently started another course called Seeing. It might be the fourth one I have started (before finishing the other three…but that’s not important!).
And the course has partially coincided with the last spring snow/ice pellet/freezing rain storm. With nearly three days mostly spent indoors – and having had my fill of Netflix – I settled in to watching the online videos for this course.
Seeing sounds kind of simple. Ha. The practice of sketching something by really looking at it – including selfies in the mirror! – is about slowing down. Looking closely. Staring at it. And I found it brought a similar feeling to the yoga I’ve been practicing for years. Be present. Slow down. Really look. Don’t assume. And breathe…
If I can haul myself out of bed early in the morning, I never regret it. Especially on a weekend. And when the humidity broke briefly this past weekend, I was thinking about all the great moments that early mornings offer.
- Making a ridiculously precise cup of java and sipping it in silence outside
- Walking the dog around the block before the neighbourhood wakes up
- Doing a quick sketch to bring some creativity up to the top
- Checking out the garden to see what is growing
Hope you have a great week!
Some things are clearly made to go together. Gin and tonic (of course), ripple chips and French onion dip, and maple syrup with well, anything.
Other combos might not be quite so obvious. But when you look closer, or try them out, they make for some natural pairings.
Yoga is one we’ve combined with other activities. Several years ago, we did a yoga and knitting workshop at Kripalu. Nothing really tying the activities together, but we did sit cross legged on the floor to knit, and I’m sure our stitches were loose and relaxed because we were.
I did a yoga a kayaking weekend last year with White Squall Paddling Centre. The ability to isolate muscles and breathing in yoga made a huge difference to the buoyancy of the kayaking. And a little sketching thrown in too.
We recently did a little day hike and stopped for some scenic yogic poses.
Hiking and food is an obvious. Tire yourself out and have someone serve up a delicious meal at the end of it all. And a personal favourite – the various Butter Tart Trails across Ontario. You could walk or drive to the next bakery featuring their version of the Canadian classic.
We are loving sketching on gift cards. Sometimes we find an image or pattern we like, and do a little production line of cards. We’ve already featured these little beach houses from an Australian wine label, but it’s one of our favourites.
Strathmore makes great watercolour cards in lots of sizes. The small gift card size is the least intimidating as it sits there all white and plain, waiting for a sketch. It’s this week’s Friday favourite.
We are on our fourth online sketching class. And it’s definitely a new favourite. We’ve taken two through Sketchbook Skool. One with Jane LaFazio. And the latest with Sketchbook Skool teacher Koosje Koene.
It’s called Just Draw it. After three courses where we just jumped right in to sketching – with no real aptitude or skill – this class is about learning the basics.
If you have any interesting in drawing, sketching and buying cool watercolour sets, check out these online art classes!
CJR & HAR
This past weekend we were both in the same city and did some stuff we love.
Preparing for a wedding shower.
And hanging out together.
CJR & HAR
I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for a long time…and you learn that there are very few truly new ideas. A different spin. A different angle. Some little thing to make it a new”er” idea. And since imitation is a great form of flattery, we were thinking about the beautiful ideas we borrow to find inspiration – for pottery designs, dinner and for our sketchbooks.
Wine labels are a great source of sketching ideas. Last summer I found an Australian white Summer Shack that had a playful, relaxed label with a line up of beach houses. Kind of the way they want you to feel after a glass or two:-). We turned those houses into sketching subjects, and notecards.
Here are some recently spotted labels that we’ll be lining up to draw.
What inspires you?
Sketching gives me a great excuse to buy more sketchbooks, Faber Castell PITT pens and watercolour sets.
This is my new favourite Koi Water Colors Pocket Field Sketch Box. Big name for a small portable pack with a removable tray, LOTS of colours, back thumb loop to hold and look like I know what I’m doing…and a watercolour refillable brush.
Thanks Maddie for the recommend:-)
It’s January, there’s still time. Not for resolutions. Something much simpler.
Have you thought of a word for your year? A touchstone. Something to remind yourself about what you want from the year, from yourself, something you want to share with your family. An outlook.
It is easier to come up with one word than a list of 10 things. But I think it takes the same effort to practice your word every day.
Here are a few of the words we know are on people’s mind, cork board, day book, journal and sketchbook. (We are practicing handwriting as part of a new Sketchbook Skool online course called Expressing to present these year word ideas.)
Do you have a word for the year?
I’ve always loved the idea of sketching. From afar. Wishing my hand would flow freely and loosely over the page. For years I’ve been buying local art. Loving to look at it. Never really imagining I might be able to create just a little piece of my own.
And then we found Sketchbook Skool through a friend. An interesting and accessible way to learn sketchbook journalling with a range of artist instructors.
The entire course is delivered online. Every Friday, for six weeks in a row, new video instruction is made available – samples of the instructors sketchbooks, tips and techniques, and a homework assignment.
We did our first course about a year and a half ago. And I got hooked. Big time. Danny Gregory’s style really stuck with me – and I’ve read a couple of his books Art Before Breakfast and A Kiss Before You Go. And my sister and I took a second six-week course from artist Jane LaFazio who had been one of the instructors from our first go round.
What I really like about Sketchbook Skool is the Friday night lesson timing. It was a great way to end the week, leaving paid work stress behind and getting lost in the pages of the artist-of-the-week’s sketchbooks. And as I worked at the “draw what you see, not what you know” sketching mantra…I realized that while I sketched, everything else disappeared.
And I had a new reason to buy more notebooks, new pens, watercolour sets, brushes…and even more notebooks.
Here’s a little gallery from last year and a half of sketchbook journalling.