Category Archives: The Sketchbook Project: 2011

Brooklyn Art Library

Our trip to NYC this year included a stop at the Brooklyn Art Library, just like last year. We wanted to give our sketchbooks some love and check out a few new ones, too.

We looked at some incredible books. First, we checked out books by my pen-pal friend, Jeannine Saylor. Her books have a sweet straight-forward style to them- they are lovely to look at.

Then we looked at a book by an illustrator named Gina Perry. She has such tiny detail in her work – it was so much fun to look at.

My favorite book there was by Lauren Schroer, from Chicago, IL. She used the theme “Sandwich”. I loved poring over that book!!

We also loved this book with cute monsters by Marie O’Riordan, from Toronto, Ontario.

Finally, one of my favorite pages of the day, by Berry Villegas, from Orlando, FL:


Sketchbook Project Update

Three of my Sketchbook Project books have been digitized! You can see them here:
Sketchbook Project 2011
Sketchbook Project 2012
Sketchbook Project Limited Edition

We are going to visit the sketchbooks at the Brooklyn Art Library again this year. Looking forward to it! I have a list of sketchbooks to check out, and I will take out my own to give them some lovin’ (and make sure the pages aren’t sticking together!).

I’m busy finishing the second half of my Sketchbook Project 2013, which isn’t due until January. Here’s what I have so far:

I’m digitized.

Just got word that my Sketchbook Project 2012 is digitized! You can see the whole thing right here! Check out my book from last year, too!

I’m really interested in the projects the Arthouse Co-op has going on right now. I may have to sign up for them, even though I’m not sure where to fit them in! One is the 4×6 exchange, which is a global art swap, and it’s free! The other is a self-portrait project. Love, love, LOVE self-portraits (making and viewing), so I am definitely in for that one!

The Real-Life Sketchbook Project

What I did on my Thanksgiving holiday: went to the Brooklyn Art Library! This is the home of Art House Co-op  and the Sketchbook Project! I participated in the project last year (and I am doing it again this year), and wanted to see how my book is doing. I was worried about the pages sticking together! While we were there, we had a chance to check out some other cool books, too.

The Brooklyn Art Library is a pretty small little shop, smaller than I expected, I guess, considering how many books they have to add after this year’s project is over! I think they’re gonna need a lot more bookshelves!! It was really inspiring to see the wall of books. Some of the covers are so ornately decorated!

You can take out books to look at based on the artist’s name, the theme, the city it comes from, or just whatever book looks interesting! I took out about 5 sketchbooks from Calgary, and then a few more for the kids to look at that had the theme, “Raining Cats and Dogs.”

We really liked this book by Barbara Wanhill of Calgary. She stuck to the cats and dogs theme, with a few chairs and other things falling from the sky. Great illustrations!







Another cool Calgary book included great line drawings of the Beatles. This one is by Tyler Lemermyer. We didn’t even come close to seeing a good chunk of sketchbooks. Didn’t even come close to hardly scratching the surface of what was there. I would love to go back another time, maybe without a 5 year old who gets bored quickly, so that I can spend a few hours poring over these amazing creations!

















Here’s me with my book! To see my fancy-digitized sketchbook from last year, click here!

Intuition and Impulses

I’m starting to dream. I was going to say, “I’m starting to dream again”, but I honestly don’t remember dreaming like this before. I don’t mean the dreams you have when you are sleeping, I mean Dreams, that sit in your heart and soul, and wait to be discovered. Part of why I am dreaming now is thanks to an impulse I had, to sign up for Mondo Beyondo. And what I am learning is that impulses (backed up by intuition) are leading me to where I am meant to go. Where I want to go.

Here’s a little list of the times I have used my intuition, and/or acted on impulse, and it has brought about a big change in my life.

1. When I first met JP, literally, like 5 minutes after meeting him, I KNEW he was the guy I would marry. My mother can attest to this, since I called her that night to tell her.

2.  When I was pregnant with my daughters, I somehow KNEW that I would no longer be an art conservator. I gave notice at the museum shortly after that. I’ve never looked back!

3. I got an email from a friend a year ago about the Sketchbook project, and I KNEW it was something I should do. I did it, and I am so glad I did. It HAS led to bigger things!

4. Talking to Nancy one day, she told me she needed someone else to become her client (for personal coaching) and I JUMPED in. This led to my next point.

5. Nancy dared me to hold a painting class. I JUMPED in again. So glad I did.

You should know that this jumping in thing is quite against the style of perfectionists! I am building the courage to do it more and more. The more I do it, the more I CAN do it.

P.S. I am featured on Stacie’s Jewelry blog!

Some closure.

The Sketchbook Project is old news now, but I need to bring closure to that topic! Instead of including all the pages that are missing on my blog (which I was about to do, but it’s way too much work), I will direct you to my flickr site to view the entire sketchbook! Here’s the cover! I hope the sketchbook holds up – some of the pages at the back of the book are perforated and were beginning to tear as I painted. Yikes! That presents quite a challenge for the paper conservator (my old job!) who gets to look after them!

The Sketchbook Project: Cover



These are a few of my Favorite Things

The Sketchbook Project p. 37-38

In the latest In the Fish Bowl class, Marisa asked us to think of words that represent us and our work. These are what I came up with, words that I would LIKE to represent me and my work!

honest and direct
bright and vivid
funny (aiming to be, anyway)
intelligent (at times)
positive (ditto)

My favorite thing about this lesson was that our blogs should be like our living room, where people come to visit! That totally changes the way I look at my blog! I’m not sure I’m totally happy and comfortable in it. How do you feel when you visit my blog? Does it feel like you got a coffee and sat on a comfy couch, or like you have to sit on a milk crate with nobody offering you a drink? Do you feel like you are getting to know me? Is it a nice place to visit? How could it be improved?

The Sketchbook Project p. 39-40

Marisa also asked us to list our favorite things. This list is going to give me lots of singing material for my son since we have been singing “My Favorite Things” but putting in our own words:

all colors, rainbows, complementary colors
dancing my butt off
mindful parenting
blissful babies
my yarn stash
hand knit items I receive as gifts
painting time with my kids
quiet time
beach resorts and holidays
solo vacations
Ontario corn and peaches (I’m in Alberta now, so better appreciation!!)
buttered popcorn & peanut M&Ms (at the same time)
salted milk chocolate
mango lassies
annual trip to Banff with my daughters
80’s music (Duran Duran, a-Ha, Depeche Mode etc)
dance/electronica for my workouts
men who can hit the high notes (think Justin Timberlake, a-Ha, E.L.O. etc)

The Sketchbook Project p. 41-42

Playing Catch Up

The Sketchbook Project pp. 35-42. This post is really just for me to catch up on posting my sketchbook pages!

Sick Comparisons

The Sketchbook Project p. 31-34.

In the first session of the e-course I am taking, Marisa mentions that we should be aware of comparing ourselves to others. (I think it’s kind of cool how that matches up with this sketchbook page that I am posting.) It’s something that I do a lot, as much as I don’t want to. I have a nasty little gremlin in my head that likes to point out how I just don’t measure up, can’t be successful where I live, that I paint the wrong things – everything is wrong. Jeez! Sometimes I want to tell my gremlin to shut it, but it’s a part of me and doesn’t take well to being treated so poorly. Meditation is helpful for sure. I can see it for what it is – just a voice in my head that wants to keep me safe.  I’m thinking it might be time for another look at “Taming Your Gremlin” by Rick Carson. What does your gremlin say to you? How do you treat it? What do you do to tame it?

I sent my sketchbook in for the Sketchbook Project today! Yay!! It’s going to take a while to get all the images up on flickr and to this blog. I might end up putting a whole bunch at once to get it over with, but for now I am spacing them out.









Unsure Mazes

The Sketchbook Project, p. 29-30.

I’m like one of those lab rats running around a maze, always coming back to the same spot. I’ve been keeping track of my back issues, and I’m on a (about) 2 month cycle of feeling good and treating myself well, and then letting all slide (which mean sitting more than I should). I have that tightness in my lower back again. It always scares me when it starts, and I am very much aware of how I focus on the negative and want it to go away. This doesn’t help at all.

I recently started meditating again (there have been lots of fresh starts for meditating!!) and I can really see the benefit now, especially with the back trouble. My “witness” part of me is easier to spot. The witness doesn’t feel the pain, but rather, notices that I (my body) am feeling pain, and that I (my mind) is stuck in the pain. This awareness lets me deal with it better, and allows me to remember that it won’t last forever.

I just finished reading “Room” by Emma Donoghue – it’s a touching, frightening, wonderful story, told from the point of view of Jack, a 5-year old boy. Jack likes to do “word sandwiches”, where he combines two words to make a new one.  My favourite in the book, one that is appropriate for me right now is “scave”. I am scared and brave at the same time.