Artist’s JournalSeptember 13, 2006
For a while now I have wanted to do some art quilts based on the San Antonio River Walk. The relaxed atmosphere, the colors, the shapes, the variety of people; it seems a treasure chest of lovely images and textures waiting to be captured in fabric.
I have been puzzling over exactly how to do it. When I go to the River Walk I take lots and lots of photos. But when I get home the photos seem cluttered, flat, void of the atmosphere that I loved so much (even though the colors are still there!). So I’ve been wondering if I should work from sketches as well as the photos. Sketches might help me to eliminate the clutter and focus on the important parts of the view. I don’t have much confidence in my sketching though. So this weekend I picked up this delightful book at the library.
Create Your Own Artist’s Journal was written by Erin O’Toole and is published by North Light Books. Erin says keeping an artist’s journal gives you the opportunity to practice being observant. “Observing means letting go of the way I think things ought to look and really seeing them for what they are.”
The book takes the reader through all the steps of keeping an artist’s journal; from assembling a hand made journal and making the first marks on the first page to who to share your journal with after it is full. She covers page design and adding handwritten notes, sketching in the back yard and sketching in public. She actually makes it sound like journaling is something I could do. And she makes it sound like fun! What’s the catch?
Just like everything else, it takes consistant time and effort to develop the skills for sketching. “Find the time and the place that feels best for working.” “Journals thrive on routine.” Ms O’Toole says she works on her journals about 1 hour every day. I’m going to be looking at my days very closely and thinking about what kind of routine I could set up for sketching. I’m thinking that the improvement that it would make to my quilts would be well worth the time.