Above: a late night sketch of Gert my current "life model" (a rubber chicken hand puppet). The background rectangle is red Lukas Gouache, not a gouache brand I use for my final paintings, but something I tried a number of years ago and still have tubes of that I use up in my journals. Journal width doesn't quite fit on the scanner so the right and left edges are clipped off.
I find myself in an unusual position. I'm creeping towards the end of a journal. Typically the closer I get to the end of a journal the faster I work. Hmmm. I thought I would mention this so that new journal keepers could be prepared for either eventuality.
A quick assessment of my current deadlines, responsibilities, and activities makes it clear why the journal is taking a back seat, and I'm OK with that. But there is another aspect to my situation. I find that I have not yet picked my next journal. I have been vacillating between two choices. One journal will be perfect for working on pencil and watercolor sketches, something I don't do much of, but have been doing a bit of lately. (Mostly I sketch in pen.) The other journal would be fine for any media I want to work on, but isn't a watercolor paper so I wouldn't be getting any "help" from it when working in watercolor.
The sticking point is that the State Fair is coming up and I'll be working in pen, with or without watercolor (I'll decide that after I select the paper I'm going to work on). Do I want to spend time practicing on a technique I won't be using at the Fair? And then switch at the last moment? You see I'm pretty much focused on the Fair as the event of the year! And I want to have results with which I'll be pleased.
There's another aspect to all of this. I have a lovely little watercolor paper journal ready to go, but I'm betting if I start to work in it, based on recent events, painting opportunities will be slim and it will be used up with notes.
Sound familiar? Many of you have written to me about such quandaries. I tell you to just use it up anyway. See, there isn't any perfect time to use a certain book—even a watercolor book, even on a trip to a special location. There's just work.
Guess we solved that. I've got to finish the three remaining pages so I can move into the watercolor book. Thanks. Now why aren't you busy drawing?