Sketching and Purring

Last year I took a break from “producing” paintings and picked up my sketchbook to record life around me. This decision was in response to an online class I took from Cathy Johnson.  I painted a few watercolor paintings, but I spent most of the year capturing pieces of my life and surroundings in my sketchbooks. It was like taking a vacation not to  frame pieces or consider their “sale-ability”.  After spending time away from creating larger paintings, I’ve decided what I really like is painting smaller watercolors and large collage and large fabric paintings. I’ll post images of them on this blog and sell them at my online store.

Heather's cat

Heather’s cat/Strathmore Aquarius II paper/watercolor/white watercolor pencil and Sakuru white gel pen for the whiskers

During the summer I visited my friend, Heather, and I tried to photograph one of her beautiful cats while we visited in her garden. He was behaving like a cat and wouldn’t sit still for a minute or would only give me his backside or tail to look at.

A few weeks ago Heather posted a photo of one of the cats and I couldn’t resist those eyes and whiskers. I thoroughly enjoyed painting on this for several hours. This would be considered more of a study than a sketch, I guess, because I consider a sketch as taking less than an hour. That is only my definition so don’t quote me.

I wonder if you have stepped back from something to refocus or regroup this year? Please share in the comments.

15 thoughts on “Sketching and Purring

  1. I was just thinking about my art goals for the next year when I came across your blog, Suzie. The sketchbook idea is intriguing and I would love to hear more about how you tackled it. Did you try to sketch every day? Did you carry a sketchbook everywhere and sketch when inspired? Sketch even when NOT inspired? What tools did you use? Tell us more!

    I feel like 2013 will be the year to take my art to a more professional level, but I still want to retain the joy that painting gives me. I love to paint and want to get better and better. The question is, what’s the next step?

  2. Gina, those are some excellent questions! I think I’ll answer them in the next blog. Thank you for inquiring and taking the time to comment. It is funny how we think we are alone in these thoughts. We should have a support group!

  3. Here’s a question — do you let others see your sketchbooks, or are they “for your eyes only”? Or do you keep both kinds of sketchbooks–public and private?

  4. Gina, I don’t mind sharing my sketchbooks. They are similar to a pianist allowing people to listen in while they do scales. Some artists put very personal things in theirs, but I must process differently ’cause I can’t think of what I would put in that would be personal. I think it’s great if people can, but I just sketch what is around me and what interests me. Maybe we could meet for coffee one day and I’ll bring some along. I’d love to see yours too!

  5. Lee, the funny thing about drawing is the more you do it, the easier it gets, right? I just started regularly drawing around March and the lines are becoming more sure every day. Someone said that sketching is giving something significance. I like that.

  6. I miss keeping my sketchbook. Everything I touch seems to bleed me somehow–and become highly personal. Still, I love thumbing through my old sketchbooks. So you’ve inspired me to start a new one, and fill it up, and while I’m at it I’ll keep track of my 365 random acts of kindness that I’m resolved to accomplish each day. I love this study, BTW!

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Ruth. Keeping a sketchbook for me is like stopping to smell the roses. Sometimes I feel like I “should” sketch, but the majority of the time it means that my mind gets to play and rest at the same time. Funny how that works. And sketches aren’t like taking photos of something. I have to stop and focus. My favorite sketching spot is on our deck-in the summer. I want to sketch items of significance during the winter months now. Family salt shakers, sugar bowls, old toys. I’m looking forward to it. I think you will enjoy filling up a few sketchbooks, Ruth!

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