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Keeping a Visual Journal

Most of the time my watercolor sketchbook is a visual journal and I try to incorporate part of my  life in my sketch of the day.  But I don't always think that I have enough time, or the perfect location, and I skip a wonderful opportunity.

Catherine Carey of In and Out of the Studio wrote about this recently and I remembered it while we were eating a quick lunch with our 7 year old grandson after we took him to MoMA. 

Catherine said, 

"In this week's sketchbook journal workshop we have been talking a lot about painting very simply and quickly. It is not about laboring over a masterpiece. It is about getting the impression of "here and now" on the journal page.

I understand that it is difficult to take a chance on a page being less than perfect, or even less than good, because someone might look at it, and of course, we will look at it ourselves and feel as if we have failed if it isn't great (or good).

I think that I have made a dicision somewhere along the line that has made it easier to "let go" and just get it on the page quickly and simply. There are a lot of things in this world, and if I labor too long over each page, I'm just not going to be able to get to all those things. If I just do snippets here and there, I'm going to be able to cover a lot more ground.

Decide what it is that made you stop to paint - and paint THAT. Then move on!"

So I sketched during our special lunch, just the scene of the area where waiters were placing orders, and picking up bills, menus, etc.  And Henry watched the drawing and then the painting, with great interest, making lunch and my journal page more special.  I sketched what was in front of me quickly and painted it, and then was ready to move on!  Now - to remember this!



I'm glad you passed this on. I read it in Catherine's blog but it didn't resonate with me until you demonstrated it!

I let too many moments go by figuring I don't have the time or else I am so busy visiting I don't take the time. I really like the part of the quote that says to paint whatever it was that made one think to paint. I'm sure every time you look at this page the whole day will come back to you. And - you made a nice page too!

I battle with this sometimes, and need to get over it - it happens when I want to tackle something I don't normally draw, like a building. Good sensible advice!

Yes, that's a wonderful thing to remember! Just get it down and don't worry about how it looks. In this case, though, it looks terrific! Sounds like you had a great time, too. nancy

Excellent! I must remember this, too!

I could imagine your swift hand and motion to produce this with as much details as possible, must be an act to watch =) Love how it turned out!

I love the spontaneity of this drawing/painting! Thanks for sharing Catherine's thoughts about this and how it helped you to move on. Inspiring...

So, you not only take your pen, but carry your watercolors and you used them! What a concept.

Very nice job - sometimes working quickly and decidely makes us do our best work.

I look forward to seeing this at the quilt show! I've already got my mother and her friend coming along (it's her friends birthday and an outing she would enjoy!). This is a lovely page and great advice.

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