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Sketchbook Challenge 1 - Highly Prized

BOOKS:  I adore my husband, who I have known since 1960, and my children and their families - including 6 grandchildren.  I prized my career, my City, and now retirement.  But from early childhood, what I loved most was books.  For this challenge I decided to paint a journal page with several books that are responsible for guiding me down my current journey - drawing, painting, and writing.


I found Gwen Diehn's book, The Decorated Page,  in a local store one day in 2003 when I visited with a gift card in hand.  I was thrilled to learn about visual journals and travel sketchbooks and started to play with one - and some student grade watercolor paints.  I was still working long hours and it took me 2 years to finish that watercolor journal. 

I used Linda Elsworth's Watercolor Skills Workbook to learn the basics about using watercolor and to select my artist grade watercolor palette, and that same month I started Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way - a book I had on a shelf for many years.  I completed all 12 weeks and loved writing morning pages, even though I had to get up earlier before work. 

I was always too busy to keep a journal when I was working and raising a family, but I suddenly became interested in journals and read and loved the Alexandra Johnson's book Leaving a Trace, which reinforced my daily journal writing. 

I was making two quilted, silk painted/dyed wedding chuppahs for my two sons' weddings during 2003-4 and 2004-5 and found Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit, and devoured it.  During that same time I was reading Artist's Sketchbook magazine and thinking about my future creative projects and when I partially retired in 2005, found Illustrated blogs online.  Reading these led to Danny Gregory's book Everyday Matters, and the Yahoo Group of the same name and in January 2006 I started my blog. 

The following year I started what would become 3 full travel journals (150 pages of watercolor paintings - see London category on the right sidebar) while my daughter was living in London, and struggled with finding the perfect watercolor sketchbook - with just the right paper.  I bought Shereen LaPlantz's book Cover to Cover and began making my own watercolor journals.  Through these books and many more, I am enjoying myself more than ever and love retirement! 


I love this page, and getting a hint of the books that have guided you. I didn't see any fiber related books and would love to know what has guided you on your textile path, too.

What a great idea, Shirley.

I, too, prize books, but started my journal with coffee, birds and then the grandgirls. Hope you don't mind if books find their way into my journal.


Great choice, Shirley--and the books are great choices, too!

What a great drawing, it is quite hard to decide what to do for the highly prized topic but whilst out walking this morning I realised what I can draw so may just get started, its great to see so many different aspects.

great drawing. I adore the
library lion bookend!

An interesting sketch, we get to see your favourite books too!

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread. ~Fran├žois Mauriac

It's fascinating when a person shares their love of books and even more so when they share the titles.

Hi Shirley, Oh, excellent drawing and equally as excellent write up! It was fun to see that we share a couple of books. And, it was also interesting to be introduced to others! The lion is just perfect!

Wonderful drawing and what a great response to highly prized. I own some of the same books and they are amongst my favorites. Twyla's wonderful, as are Gwen Diehn's books!

The only one of these books that I haven't read is "Leaving a Trace". All great books and your drawing (painting) is very well done!

Great sketch - and I, too, recognise some of these books!
(Love your idea about the EDM challenges and I shall do the same.)

Lovely drawing Shirley! The spines of the books are so symbolic a lot of times. Thank you so much for your comments and encouragements.

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