Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pages + Paint: Sketchbook

I've only taken a few online courses, but Pages and Paint is my favorite so far of the ones I've tried, mainly because it is getting me inspired to do. Last week, Week One, was mainly about setting up our studios and inspiration board/wall. The kids and I already have a great place for art-making--it's not perfect (I'd love some natural light), but it's by far the best set-up we've had in this house and I'm so grateful for it. The walls are filled with works by the kids and me, studies we've done together using different materials, to inspire us as we work. But lately I'd been thinking I needed a section of the wall to hang up the odds and ends I've collected that I want to have out so I can see them. So that's done now.

But I just couldn't wait to get into that sketchbook! So last week, after spending a day at the local salt pond with the kids, when I wanted to remember some of what we'd seen, I combined words and sketch.

I think if you click on that to make it bigger, you might be able to read what I wrote, too. And yes! We saw a BIG horseshoe crab, and it was so so cool! There is nothing like seeing creatures in their natural habitat--while sharing their natural habitat. I can't even explain how it fills me up to be able to give these experiences to my kids.

Combining words and sketches in one journal/sketchbook was a revelation for me. I don't have to have a journal OR a sketchbook OR an art journal (the last, quite frankly, I find intimidating). I can put it all in one place. Obvious, I know, but it was something that needed to click for me. And all those photos I take (because I always have my camera with me) of random things that catch my eye? I can print them out--regular computer paper is fine--and stick them in the book.

Now, in Week Two, we are working in our sketchbooks as a class. One assignment was to make a double-page spread that felt "finished." Since I'm using an 8.5x11" sketchbook, I turned it sideways to do this.

The quote is from an e.e. cummings poem. Again, I think it'll be readable if you click on the photo. I was actually able to do this during the day (usually I get creative time at night). My boys were engrossed in their books, and my daughter was at the art table with me, working on her own composition, with crayons, stamps, and paint. Love working with her like that.

Also this week, we were given prompts. Mine was sunny*yellow*shady tree*try a sketch*happy. Because I'm trying to get more comfortable with materials I don't often use, I sketched this tree with chalk and oil pastels. The leaves were added with paint.

As a reference I used a photo of the enormous "fort tree" in a nearby park. I wanted to try approaching this prompt in a completely different way, too, so later I did this one.

This is more collage and mashing different things together, something that still feels so challenging to me. I think I drew here with conte crayons, which are always more chalky than I think they should be.

I'm excited about the "bonus" assignment for this week too...and that's what I mean about this course. It's got me doing. I'm really enjoying it.


Michelle said...

Oh gosh, sketching is so intimidating to me. And you know I'm a jump in with both feet girl, right? I can't get past my sketching block. But I do have some drawing lessons I downloaded to do with Ella next year, so maybe that will help. I am so impressed by that crab. Seriously, Amy, it's amazing.

Karen Isaacson said...

COOL! you are buzzing with art energy. I love that spread with the actual packet of sand, photograph and sketch on a single page. very cool.

bells said...

i have a friend who's doing something similar here and it's amazing to see how much expression she finds in those pages.