Happy Blogday to Me

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Two years ago today, I started this blog. I’ve felt a shade pessimistic lately about its ongoing purpose, and about my own erratic attempts to make it a place on the web that’s worth visiting. Re-reading some of your past comments, however, has heartened me, and reminded me why I am here: the EDM community which led me to create this online presence in the first place has been responsible for so much supportive, appreciative and thoughtful interaction with fellow painters and sketchers over these two years that I would be foolish indeed to abandon the one virtual corner where I know I can open not only my sketchbook, but – if I need to – my heart.

Yesterday’s sketch for “(Almost) Every Day in February” was done between finishing work and collecting my daughter from daycare. I’m getting used to the idea, now, of sketching more freely and rapidly; of letting my pen take all the detours it needs in order to reach an approximation of what’s in front of me, without fear of mistakes. The previous day’s scribbles can be seen on my Flickr.

Joyeux blogiversaire!

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More pen & watercolour

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These pen & watercolour sketches from February are on a two-page spread in my 4×6″ Daler-Rowney sketchbook.

I started the book an incredible 10 years ago today, finally filling it just last week – thanks to Danny Gregory’s book The Creative License and the EveryDay Matters Group. I was compelled to reward myself almost immediately for getting back into sketching mode with this bijou tin for my half-pan Winsor & Newtons. The sketchbook page includes the dimensions of this tiny box, the colours I keep in it and a reminder to myself about pre-wetting pan colours.

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As well as sketching whatever catches my eye, I’m working my way through the hundred-plus EDM Challenges, in no particular order. Challenge #10 is Draw your hand (you can peruse the full list at Karen Winters’ blog, here).

A gesture of defiance – or was I simply trying to hide my bitten fingernails?

Chatteris Museum sketches

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The good news is that our scanner is now up and running, so I can now post my Chatteris Museum sketches. The bad news is: they’re not pastels! I say this only because of the rapturous reception my pastel sketches received from artists in the EveryDay Matters group who were kind enough to leave me a comment. I kept my materials for the SketchCrawl simple and light: these are all Edding Profipen .01 with watercolour (or watercolour pencils), 3.5″ x 5.5″.

We have a carpet beater made of cane, an earthenware pitcher, some tea paraphernalia, a hardware store bell (EDM Challenge #21: Draw something old, antique or vintage – we were spoilt for choice, really), Keys (#37) and police whistles.

 

Cunningly, I also managed to cover challenges #38: Draw at a museum and #72: Draw somewhere new with this trip!

The paper in the hand*book journal is rougher than the Daler-Rowney sketchbooks I’m used to and seems more absorbent to watercolour, but it’s pleasant to use. Since joining EDM I’ve noticed worrying symptoms of a serious sketchbook fetish I don’t recall having before …