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Sketchbook Voyage - Here we go!

Hello Beautiful “arttrekkers”!

Here's a summary of some of the ideas from our first class together AND some new ideas for you to be with. As always, notice what is here for you. And have FUN.

Deconstructing the Sketchbook

We will begin in our “messy” sketchbooks but taking away any preciousness, any idea of completion and any form of linear thinking. You can achieve this in many ways but here are some suggestions.

  • Make all your drawings on random pages (not linear)

  • Re-construct the cover to be your own in some way. (or rip the cover off and be done with it!)

  • Start everything in pencil or ballpoint pen (let color come later) (down to basics)

  • Keep changing the orientation of your page as you sketch (turn the book upside down- flip it horizontally-etc)

  • Insert and include random thoughts/words on pages next to or on your drawings (take away the preciousness intentionally. Would a “completed” art piece ever have your shopping list written on it?)

  • Use scissors (or hand tear) liberally in your sketchbook

Creating space.

I want you to think of our zoom call as truly a studio experience. Whether you are watching it as a recording or joining us live. Imagine how you would interact if we were in real life together. You would be fully present. So to the best of your ability it’s up to you to create that environment. To create this experience, think about your space or spaces. Where do you want to take the calls? Where do you want to create? Will a consistent and dedicated space support you best…. Or one that is fluid, portable and moves WITH YOU?.

Remember: the space is the sketchbook itself. The sketchbook is the studio.

However, you may wish to clear a corner, a table top, a desk, (inside or outside)

that becomes the place that is your “creative nook”. You may want a few special things in that “nook” that remind you to play. You’ll know what’s right for you.

If it feels stressful at all, or brings you any form of anxiety, take a step back.

Be gentle and kind.

There’s no right or wrong answer. Everything is an exploration.

What is here for you?

Trust. Try.

and dont forget to breathe!

One more thing:

Over the course of our time together I’m going to be throwing a lot of different suggestions at you. This is part of what I do. Try not to get overwhelmed by the suggestions. Bring yourself to your neutral center as best you can and listen to them with an open mind. Notice what you feel in your body. Start to get to know what a “yes“ sounds like - feels like - to you. drop all the rest and just follow the yes! And always ask questions if you are lost or confused at all.


Repetition of a single Mark

Pick one Mark of consistent size (relatively) and cover the entire page with it without overlapping.

Perhaps start with short lines in rows? Or something else (a squiggle? A circle?) Perhaps there's a mark that you've doodled many times before?

Just notice where you are at. Notice the quality of the mark you make.

  • Notice if it changes.

  • Notice how fast or slow you are making the mark.

This is your litmus

Remember to keep this noticing light, fun, playful. Without moving into analysis or comparison. This is tricky, but an important part of our practice. If you start noticing you are going into critical mode, get up! Shake it off! Shake out your hands. Jump up and down. Massage your hands. Tap your heart. Take some deep breaths. Hug yourself. Basically…. Get yourself out of your head! Close your eyes as you continue (this usually gets you out of your head very quickly!)

Start to experiment (pick one from the list below… or come up with your own)

  • Vary the weight of the mark

  • Vary the speed of your drawing

  • Vary the size of your mark based on the size of the page itself

  • Vary your breathing as you make the marks

  • Vary how you hold your tool

  • Vary the distance from the page

This is the beginning of exploring pattern. Pattern is vital to our interpretation of the world we live in. Pattern is powerful.

What is here for you?

Creative Quest


Make one page sketchbooks (or several) for Friday (or whenever!) You can make as many or few as you like. Any size you like. If you have another way to make your own mini sketchbook (there are many ways!) you can use your favored method. The point is to have something portable, easy and with only a few pages so it becomes very EASY to fill it.

Here’s some suggestions

Keep one blank

Apply a light watercolor background to another (or two)

Make one messy on purpose


Some of you asked about materials. I plan on offering you some materials to experiment with during our live session on Friday so we can talk more about it then. I would highly recommend having the following which you can integrate with other materials you may have.

  • Soft Lead pencils(s).

    • Can be woodless- graphite stickst- regular drawing pencil set- etc. Whatever you have or prefer.

  • Erasers of various kinds:

    • kneaded, mars white, etc. (or your preferred)

  • Something to “blend” with-

    • Chamois, blending stump (or your finger if you prefer!)

  • Various Sketchbooks (as we discussed)

    • Old sketchbooks, new ones, different sizes,

  • Something to add color to your pages

    • Oil pastels, soft pastels, colored pencils, markers, watercolor, gouache… etc!

  • Tools for collage/multi media

    • Scissors, glue sticks, glitter glue (why not!), etc.


Last but not least, I want to invite us all to jumpstart a daily practice. Start with 30 seconds a day. Literally. Make one mark or several in that 30 seconds. Or if you prefer a different amount of time, do that instead. Or if a set time makes you nervous or anxious, drop it. Just make a mark on a page every day.

Remember my black circles?

It can be that simple.

LET it be that simple.

We are just getting started!

Toodles & Doodles! (ok I just made that up and I know its cheesy but I like it! LOL!)


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