Well spring has finally nearly arrived, after what has seemed like one of the longest winters ever!  Although we didn't get our normal deep blanketing of fluffy white stuff this year, the long, dark, grey, rainy days have made the sunshine such a wonderful, warm blessing.  The grass is greening, leaves are leafing, and the woods are blooming with beautiful windflowers.  So finally... out of the studio and into the forest for some much needed fresh air and inspiration!


Is that a word?  Maybe not, maybe I just made it up.  But people do scrapbooking right?  So I guess maybe sketchbooking is what I do!  That's heading out somewhere, with my handy little compact art tool kit, and filling up a journal type book with visual inspiration.  There's a big movement right now of people doing urban sketching, or travel journaling, or it can be a nature sketchbook, or an artist's journal,...or whatever you want it to be!

My sketchbooks/journals tend to be a random compilation of recorded wanderings and ramblings.  Some pages are close up plant, flower, bug, reptile, or bird studies, or sometimes observations to pursue further later, or notes to self, or landscapes, or value studies, or beginnings of later larger paintings, or ideas for fabric or surface designs, or interesting architecture, etc., etc., really just whatever might interest or strike me at the time that I want to remember.  

I have a new reference book, The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws (that I highly recommend by the way!), that has several inspiring quotes in it, one being:

"I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see." -Sherlock Holmes

...and maybe that's what it's all about - seeing, really seeing, pausing, stopping, noticing, and documenting it, through drawing, painting, writing, scribbling, or whatever captures the moment that captures your attention.  Maybe it's a form of prayer, praise, peace, meditation, whatever it is to you, I hope you get out there and try it, and please don't let all of those blank white pages intimidate you!  (or if they do, come take a workshop with me at Design Street and I'll help you get started!)  I think sketchbooking should be a word, because it's very good for the soul.