End of a year. End of a sketchbook. End of a blog.

As a new year begins to make its own unique personality and intentions known, it is time for me to say thank you and goodbye (insofar as it will now retire to a drawer of my art desk to live a quieter existence) to the red linen-bound Canson sketchbook that has accompanied me all over for the past 20 months. Through Ely, London, Paris, Zákynthos, Kent and the Isle of Wight, it has been a faithful friend, and though I have also filled a fair few pages of other sketchbooks in that time, it’s the Canson which tells the greatest part of my story, in a mostly chronological way. I’ve put together a mosaic of some of its pages …

… and you can view the rest of them on my Flickr account, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rose_anglaise/sets/72157623159296678/

This little book, whose beautifully smooth watercolour paper will happily accept any and all media I care to throw at it, has been a revelation to me. Its patient pages have taught me to consider composition in my sketches, to mix all kinds of media and approach (pen, gouache, pasted paper, cut pages, graphite, coloured pencil, watercolour, wax pastel, acrylic and even gold leaf), to keep painting over my mistakes until I come up with something I like – and not to fret about it if I never reach the point of liking it at all, but simply to turn the page and not worry about what is incomplete or imperfect. It has also taught me to write in and among and alongside the drawings, however critical and self-conscious that makes me feel, and though it isn’t the first sketchbook I’ve kept, it is the first real sketchjournal. I bid it farewell with the following spread.

I’m telling myself that after this entry, I may well cease to post on this blog. I am trying to focus on the act and process of creating, this year, and the mental energy for reporting coherently and interestingly here on what I’m up to is simply not something I have in sufficient amounts. I have a lot of interests: I cannot really do justice to this blog space, and that bothers me, so it is one thing amongst several that I find I must strip away. Having struggled to participate fully these past couple of years as a member of the art and craft blogging community, I feel I may be better able to communicate by limiting myself to Flickr, Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook and a handful of online art forums – and of course, by commenting on others’ blogs when I can.

Thank you to everyone who has read me, especially if you’ve ever left a comment on something I’ve posted. I will continue to contemplate my navel, and, on occasion, sketch it; I just won’t beat myself up so much about not sending everyone regular newsletters to inform them just how much fluff is in there. 😉

Love, E-J Xx