Finding My Way Back To My Sketchbook

10:37 AM

After coming home from a trip, I always have grand plans for all the pages I'm going to do based on the great photos and wonderful memories I have. Sound familiar?

And then life, work and daily living gets in the way. Sound even more familiar?

Those pages still exist, but they're only in my imagination and they fade with each passing day.

Each trip, I do a little better by getting more done in my sketchbook while on location. However, there will always be more pages to be done when I return. Both our Acadia trip from last fall and the Winter Interrupted workshop from this winter await the finishing touches.

Luckily for me, I had a little help from one of the gals that helped me Interrupt Winter, Claire McFeely. Actually, it was more than a little help—she's been a powerhouse of inspiration because she recently finished all 48 pages of her trip and she's been sharing them on a private trip blog we have.

The other "help" I have is that my brand new Apple computer, the Big Mac Daddy, is back at the big house for yet more diagnostics and repairs. I am so over this situation and I knew I need some serious distracting from the situation, so I pulled out all my saved materials and photos and went to work. BTW, distraction is a marvelous tool to get going on a stalled project!

Final Day and a Page of Thanks
Stillman & Birn Zeta Sketchbook
Watercolor and Ink
On the NOLA trip, we lost a stool on the very last night. On the last evening of Winter Interrupted, one of the ladies' hats decided to separate from its brim in a rather dramatic fashion. After a wonderful walk on the beach, we had dinner at a little grill where we sat outside to enjoy the wonderful breeze and listened to the waves crashing into shore.

That single-serving bottle of bubbly Moscato wine was ridiculously expensive, but just too cute to pass up and the wine was good. The ink on this page reads as black but is actually a grayed blue. It worked well with the restaurant's logo colors.
Happy reminders of a wonderful trip
Stillman & Birn
Watercolor and Ink
During our adventure to John's Pass, the bag above was spotted. Since it had eight flip-flops on it and there were eight "Beach Sisters," the Sisters decided to gift the bag to me as a happy reminder of the trip and to show their appreciation. After they gave it to me, I had each of them sign their names to a flip-flop…I still need one more signature that I'm determined to get one of these days, soon!

I have to say that going back and working in my sketchbook was like a balm to my frustrated mind. I didn't look at the clock, I didn't worry about how much detail I was putting into the work, I just drew and painted to my heart's content.

Since I still do not know the fate of Big Mac Daddy, it looks like I'm going to get to keep going in my sketchbook and who know's I might just get finished!

How do you get yourself motivated to go back and finished an abandoned sketchbook?

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14 Creative Thought(s)

  1. I haven't traveled in so long I don't remember.

  2. After a trip to Italy I had big plans to sketch from my photos and do lots of "beautiful" pages. That was then. Now I know that if I do not mostly complete my sketches while on the trip, either at the site or that evening, I will probably not complete them. Knowing this about myself I try very hard to come to a conclusion and an acceptance of the pages I am doing. And if any finishing up needs to be done I get that completed on the way home.
    I think as you age you decide where to put the emphasis. I do not have patience for "complex" or "detailed" and so knowing that I do the best I can and am happy with the results.

    1. I'm coming to the same conclusions, Diane. It best be done on location or it's not too likely to happen and complex pages seem, for the most part, to be a thing of the past. The wonders of age!

  3. I meant to add that your pages are lovely!

  4. What a delight to see your post of our fabulous Beach Adventure! What an awesome experience it was.

    My normal mode on vacation is to pack some art supplies so I can sketch/paint during the trip, but more often than not I return with an empty sketchbook and TONS of photos. The abundance of photos should be an incentive for me to start working away at the sketchbook at home.... but between returning to work and normal responsibilities I seldom follow-up in my sketchbook to record the adventure.

    But it was different for me with your Imaginary Trip Made Real to St. Pete's Beach. The "why" was the energy and "magic" I experienced and absorbed through the adventure. I continued diligently working in my sketchbook when I returned home because I didn't want the "magic" to fade away and be forgotten. I'm thankful that I took that time and sort of emptied my memory of lots of details. My sketchbook is a treasure to me.

    Now.... I should get on to my next adventure - like that awesome cross-country road trip that I took with my eldest son last fall. I have lots of material to work from for a trip journal recording that adventure.

    Your post here has made me realize that I've been absent from my blog this past year even though I've been doing some art, most of it in your fabulous classes. I think I'll start posting some of those images on my blog, AND start doing more of my own stuff too! Thanks for giving me the motivation to get going again! Interacting with other artists is a big motivator for me.

    1. You have far more discipline than I, Claire! And I thank you for inspiring me and getting me started again!

  5. I don't have too many dedicated books so I can just add one painting here or there to add to a book till it's finished. I'm not filling any pages too fast lately. Guess a lot has been going on where I am not in control of my time so much. I would think sharing with a group like the group you traveled with would help get you motivated. Sometimes a challenge helps to get me going again.

    Your pages look great and you did a really nice job on that bag!

    1. Thanks, Timaree! As with most things, there is an ebb and a flow and I'm sure you'll get back around to sketching again.

  6. ...I love these pages!! If I need inspiration for a journal page, I just come to your blog! :-)
    When is your next trip? :-)

    1. Lots of planning but no firm plans…yet. You'll be the first to know!


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