Video Chat with Danny Gregory and Me

March 19, 2013

Readers of this blog already know that my work is included in Danny Gregory's new visual journaling book, "An Illustrated Journey," which showcases travel journals. (I wrote about the book when it was released.) I'm thrilled to be included.

Well today Danny has a video chat that we made in February this year posted on his blog

I'd never done a video chat before and I was still recovering from the winter "crud," but I got through the entire interview with only one mild cough!  You get to see me talk about my favorite supplies and my "Bat-utility belt" (as in Batman) of a fanny pack.

I hope it will encourage you to go out your door today and sketch what catches your interest.

Also, I have finished reading the new book (I hadn't seen it when we did the chat, and then when I did get the book I savored it, reading a few entries a day). I believe it's a marvelous gift to be able to peek into the sketchbooks and journals of others. We get to see what caught the artist's attention, how his eye focused and edited. We learn something about the artist, but we also learn something about the world. And all of that learning we can take back into our own lives so that we can look again at our world with a fresh eye. 

A book like this also allows us to hold the sketches in our hands and look them over at our leisure. The book contains many artists whose work I've only been able to see online and I love being able to peer at it away from my desk, to turn pages, as I would if I had the journal.

I grew up as a third culture kid. I write in my interview in the book that the gift of that experience is that I am always an explorer, "I feel like an alien from another planet who is just trying to get her bearings by scrutinizing what everyone else is doing and processing it internally."

It's a joyous experience because every moment there are little epiphanies—or even more fun, little moments of discovery which send you off to do research. That discovery always been my real "job"—but I also think of it as the greatest game going (not to be confused with The Great Game). And anyone who picks up a pen or pencil can play.

I hope Danny's new book encourages you to do just that whether you're traveling half way around the world or just ducking out to the local grocery store for a quart of ice cream. Maybe there's a park on the route. And if there's a park, there's a pigeon. We can learn a lot from pigeons too.

Of course you can elect to sketch the people in the park. Be sure to listen as you sketch. What are people talking about? What matters to them? How are they talking? What are the patterns of their speech? Even if they speak a language unknown to you their body language and the inflection of their voices will tell you volumes. There's endless stuff to find out, you just have to look. And be present.  


    • Ricë
    • March 19, 2013

    The interview was great fun, Roz! I love listening to you talk about what you do, anyway, and this was perfect.

    • Tina
    • March 19, 2013

    Roz, it was so much fun to finally “meet” you in the video! I love the whole book, and I was fascinated to read your story. I didn’t know until I saw the video that you do most of your on-location sketching standing up. So do I, but I don’t think it’s very common. Here’s the watercolor kit I rigged up to facilitate sketching while standing:
    But guess what? I have a shoulder issue, too! Maybe it’s not such a great idea. 😉 Anyway, your blog inspires and informs me daily, and now I have a face to put to your blog voice.

    – Tina

  1. Reply

    Ricë, thanks. I was a little subdued as I was trying not to cough, but it’s always fun to get to talk about these matters! I’m glad you enjoyed it, because you’ve dealt with me in person.

  2. Reply

    Tina, thanks for stopping by and watching the video. I’m glad you loved the whole book (I do too).

    Yep, standing became a necessity. Years and years ago I sat on an anthill and couldn’t get into a shower right away. It’s easier to look where I’m standing, and then stand, than go through that again! And I sure don’t want to carry a chair. (Though I did some chicken sketches last year in a friend’s yard and I brought a chair—I stalked the chickens around the yard sketching them, so that’s standing; then I sat down to apply the paints as I was working large.)

    I love your palette with the ends of the Daniel Smith watercolor sticks! Very fun and clever.

    Before the book came out I saw someone made a watercolor palette using watercolor pencils—I think it might have been Kolby Kirk who’s in Danny’s book. I have to go back through my notes and see if I can find that site. Fun ways to use different media.

    Sadly I think standing and painting is related to our shoulder issues! My shoulder was fine until about 3 months after Dottie died. I walked her so much every day (and while there wasn’t a lot of pulling on her part unless it was just before release) I think afterwards my shoulder just atrophied in ways that made it weak. I’ve got exercises I do, but it’s just more likely to get reinjured (originally injured in a car accident). So we really have to think things through and be smart about how we paint.

    And I believe in having the best physical therapist in the world!

    Thanks for watching and writing in. Normally my voice is a bit more “cartoony,” as I was still getting over being ill when the video was recorded. But you do now have a bit of an idea of what I sound like in person.

    Good luck with your shoulder!


    • donnamcm
    • March 19, 2013

    Really good interview Roz. I sketched you while watching it. I’ll throw a little paint on it tomorrow and get it to you. Hmmm, wasn’t there something about drawing Roz at one point?

  3. Reply

    Donna, thanks for sketching me while you were listening! I got the jpg and I love it.

    Yes, a couple years ago—has it been that long?— I did Project Journal Infiltration. I got sketeched into quite a number of journals. I haven’t done anything more with it since that first push and there was a drawing at the end of the time frame.

    I also had project journal infiltration in my FAKE journal for that same year!

    People quite often sketch me at meetings and other get togethers now too, so I continue to sneak into visual journals. All part of my cunning plan!!!


    • Robin B
    • March 28, 2013

    Roz, I’ve been following you for years, was wonderful to see this video! Love your books! What do you use for adhering photos to the paper? I know you care about archival issues…


  4. Reply

    Robin, thanks for reading and writing in. I’m glad you enjoyed the video.

    I list my favorite glues here

    Technique is also important, really burnishing things down.

    You’ll want to check back in a month or so and search for “glue” in the search engine because by then I’ll have posted about what I will be doing in my 2013 Fake journal. This year my character is using some different methods.

    • Robin B
    • March 29, 2013

    Thanks so much!

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