Tag Archives: keeping sketchbooks

The importance of sketch books….

‘You can’t do sketches enough.   Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.’  John Singer Sargent. 

Given the emphasis I put on the importance of keeping sketch books, every now and then I will share the contents of some of mine.     All the sketches in this post were made in Mas Cabardes, SW France.

My sketch books are small – a place where I can record anything and everything that catches my eye.

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The light in S.W. France is magnificent, and it was the play of light and shadow on this chair that made me want to record it several time.

These sketches are very fast….and are excellent for honing observational skills.

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Again, light and shadow…looking from the inside out….something I love to do.  Two different worlds.

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Early morning looking down into the chicken pen from my bedroom.

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Chicken

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Roof tops from higher up in the village.

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Inside shutters….

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And one of the many cats that visit me when I am in France:)

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When I sketch, I use a tiny palette, one brush and as is the case in some of these sketches, a felt tip pen….Sketch books help me to stay free, and connected to the world around me in a deeper way.

When I pick up one of my many sketch books, I am immediately taken back in time to the place….all my sense are re awakened.

Click on image to see a larger version.

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A Bientôt

 

Taking notes

Although I love to work on large oil paintings, over the years watercolour painting has become a constant companion for me.      Easy to carry when travelling and a superb medium for warming up and taking notes. 

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I have been writing my blog for seven years.   Before e mail, I wrote letters almost every day, and I keep sketch books which are full of images and words, however it wasn’t until I decided to write a book, that I realised I needed to approach things in a different way.

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I have been mulling this over for quite some time, and then I was reminded of a workshop I gave years ago in the beautiful Hereford countryside where one of the participants felt totally overwhelmed by the vastness of the landscape……Her question was – How to start?

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I suggested that she observe a lovely old door which was part of a barn….and start there.     By the end of the weekend, she had put together about 20 sketches or vignettes within the landscape.      

These notes and gathering of information ultimately gave her a much greater understanding of the total landscape, and where she wanted to take her work.       

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For a long time I was focusing on the idea of writing an autobiography and then more recently I realised that I want total freedom of expression in my writing as in my watercolour painting, and so decided that I would write a novel.      

Initially, much like the woman in my Herefordshire workshop….the big picture seemed overwhelming, and then I began to approach things as I would my painting…..

For me the process works better if I have a hard copy, and so each day as thoughts come, I jot them down and print out.   Thus far I have compiled a stack of notes, which are beginning to make sense.  

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In short, I am learning a new habit….clearly I need to consult my Apple Exercise book:)

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

A Bientôt