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Artist’s Sketchbook—A New Book on Sketching from Cathy Johnson

Left: Cover of the Artist's Sketchbook. Click on the image to view an enlargement. The publication of a new painting or sketching book from Cathy Johnson is always an happy and exciting event for me. Johnson is one of my art heroes. Like many other artists I was first aware of her work through her how-to-articles […]

Nature and Travel Journaling with Artist Pat Beaubien on Monday, March 19, 2012

Please see the full post for details.

Richard Bell: His Blog and One of His Books

I've been away from the computer all day again today, and there is a storm coming I hate working on the computer then. I'm going to be adding some new blogs to my blog roll over the next week or so and I wanted to call your attention to them as I did so. But I also want to get off the computer. (Did I mention that?) So I am going to start by adding Richard Bell's blog "Wild Yorkshire." He's a tremendously talented artist and journal keeper. And he writes the most wonderful books on the nature that surrounds him. You really need to check out his blog.

In addition I have called up from my pre-blog "student and friend update list" the following review of his book Rough Patch. It's spring (I'll have more to say about this in the next few days) here in Minnesota, and this makes me think of Richard's book, and all the gardeners out there, everywhere. I used to be a gardener but now we have too much shade in the yard, and with no resident predators (except the raptors) too many bunnies! Still it's good to read about the gardening experiences of others.

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Isn’t She Lovely

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Left: Wild Turkey hens in my backyard! A sketch of one of them as she stood in my neighbor’s driveway. Nexus pen that was almost out of ink. The hen I drew had such a lovely line to her head. Her eye slightly bulging from the almost feather-free face.
Click on the image to view an enlargement.

So yesterday I needed to go to the zoo for some research and that didn’t happen. Today I was hoping to get to the zoo but I didn’t get all my work done and was taking a break to run errands, a bit out of sorts that I couldn’t go to the zoo. As I stepped out of the porch door I surveyed the yard and as I pushed the screen door shut movement caught my eye. There just outside of the fence (chain link) between the fence and the hedge which shelters us from the heavy traffic were two turkey hens!

I live in Minneapolis folks. In the City! Right by the University. Don’t you love it? We have wild Turkeys. Ben Franklin’s favorite bird.

I couldn’t breathe. I’ve seen them in our area once before, but that was two blocks away on River Road. It made sense as they had jumped the River Road wall and were having a bit of a look see, but staying close to the wild.

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Journaling Superstitions #3: You Must Work Chronologically

 

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Above: A page spread from yesterday’s trip to the Bell Museum of Natural History. Sketching the live painted turtle in the Touch and See Room. Pages 6.5 x 8.5 inches; spread 13 x 8.5 inches. The text paper of this journal is Arches Text Wove (now called Velin Arches). The strip of text in the gutter was pre-painted outside of the book (leaving certain lines masked), then glued in place when I started this new journal last week. Sketches are done with Staedtler Pigment Liner .7 and Daniel Smith Watercolors (with a Niji waterbrush). Click on the image to see an enlargement.

I’m having a hard time with this superstition: you must work chronologically. You see, I actually, in my heart of hearts believe this, or at least I believe it is better when you work chronologically for a host of reasons. But that’s just me. And it’s just the way I work. Sometimes superstitions, like clichés have some truth in them. But no one should adhere to this working method if it is keeping him from working in his journal.

Here’s the deal. I tend to work chronologically in my journals because one of the important aspects of the journal for me is the timeline of my life that it presents. If I work on a first signature page then go to the back of the book, then the center of the book, and so on, I don’t get that chronology.

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Adventures in Bookbinding

 

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Above: Hardcover Button Hole Stitch Journal, example 10.5 x 9 inches. To read more about this structure and the class see the second class listing below. Inset image: sketch from life drawing. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I know March seems a bit far off today, but January is right around the corner. I have classes in both months and since I’m only teaching a few classes in 2009 I thought I would share information with you now so that interested students can plan. 

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