From some of my tiny pocket sketchbooks

I began this week by pulling sketchbooks from my book case at random.

Each time I opened a book, I was immediately taken back to a moment in time and the story behind that moment…..

I made this little sketch on the Brittany Ferry – from Roscoff to Pymouth – 1995

I had been in Brittany for about six weeks, having had an exhibition at the Centre Auguste Brizeux.

A friend had asked if her sixteen year old daughter could travel back with me to the UK, where she would be met by an English family in Plymouth.     This lovely young girl had never been to England and was to spend the summer with a family to brush up on her English, etc.

It was a beautiful day and so for the entire six hour ferry trip, we sat on deck, where I made many rapid sketch/notes.       One that has survived is this little boy looking out to sea.     

When we arrived in Plymouth….the family as described was there to meet her…and so we kissed and said our goodbyes….and parted company.       The amusing part of this story is that it turned out to be the wrong family!       Imagine how apologetic I was to the girl’s parents…However all’s well that ends well.


This is fun.

I was sitting on the Eurostar on my way to Paris to see my daughter who was studying there at the time….and spotted this quintessentially English couple across the aisle from me.

These rapid notes are all about capturing the essence of a moment in time.  ball point pen on a scrap of paper. 


I am not one to usually visit McDonalds…..however, on this occasion, it was brutally hot in Paris, and I needed a quick cold drink…..Across from me was this wonderful old man, proving the point that we never know when a good sketch opportunity will present itself.


Moving to San Francisco….this is a very special sketch to me.   It is of one of my students – Tom McGrady.     

Tom had arrived at my studio in West Chester Pennsylvania, a few years before this sketch was made….He wanted to study with me, but didn’t have any money, and asked if he could do odd jobs in return.    After seeing his work, which was most impressive even at that tender age, of course, I said Yes.

Tom became a good friend to me and my family and did some fantastic work around the studio, but much more important was his move to California where he went on to become  a working artist and fine cabinet maker.

I keep in touch with people, but one sadness is my loss of contact with Tom… day.


I hope everyone enjoys a lovely weekend.

A Bientôt

34 thoughts on “From some of my tiny pocket sketchbooks

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Oh my goodness would that be fun….one of these days…you never know, and yes I am still hoping to be alive when I can be teleported as in Star Wars:) Make the most of every precious second of this day….Janet. x

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Ellen, thank you so much for your lovely comment. My last two blogs – including today – are all about working towards developing a creative path….I hope you have a beautiful day…Janet:)

      1. Andy Smart

        And a sketchbook is something you can always look back on at any time for information. Although I don’t do any art any more when I am book writing it’s all on sheets of folded paper which I keep in waterproof bags. I still have my travel notes from years ago. Fluency is always the best.

  1. Pingback: A Life Well Lived – Madame Nottale – a remarkable woman. | Mark Geoffrey Kirshner

  2. Timi Townsend

    I love these off-the-cuff sketches of yours, Janet! And also the personal history you’ve shared with me on my blog. But back to sketching: I really need to start doing it again, because I have a color pencil portrait of my niece promised to her mother. And I’m a neophyte at color pencil. Black and white media are more my forte, although I used to also do watercolors. I’ll have to share some of my puny efforts with you sometime. Meanwhile, I hope your Monday has gotten off to a good start!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Oh yes, definitely start sketching again. I have many sketchbooks filling a bookcase and every now and then I will pick up one and be taken back to a specific moment in time….nothing quite like it. I look forward to seeing some of yours…janet:)

  3. Lauri Frohling

    Hey Janet! Somehow I got off your blog list! Can you add me back in please? I don’t see how to join from my end. My email is Thank you thank you! Hugs
    Lauri Frohling


    I do the same thing and enjoyed this post. I have a few book of sketches that bring back memories. Wishing you a lovely day.

      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        I may come to the West Coast in the next year or so. I have to American nephews who live in southern california, and so would definitely let you know 🙂

  5. davidjrogersftw

    Dear Janet, I can’t keep up with you. I’ve been out of touch of the internet for a while and I come back and find that you are producing posts and comments at breakneck speed. All your art work is lovely and your narratives are so skilled and written I’m sure with deceptive ease. I hope to settle down soon to relish all you have to share with us out here. . Fondest wishes, dear friend. David

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much dear David. I have been thinking about you and hoping that your writing is keeping you occupied. Also that the weather is a little more gentle than it was. Life has been very busy this end on all fronts….but good. Best wishes to you and as always I look forward to your next blog. Janet 🙂

  6. cm writes

    I just love your artwork. The magical hummingbirds are magical indeed I’ve looked through most of your sections and I just love your watercolors. I noticed that you liked my story on “My Sweet Charming Man” I have to kind of snicker because he was the one who scammed me and I am now investigating him. I don’t think that they should continue. Don’t know if anything will come of it, but what the heck. It’ll give me something else to write about. Again, I love your work. I can’t draw, but I can take photos and edit. lol


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