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Welcome to my blog

April 22, 2010

Whether you are one of our current students, a past student or someone who is really interested in art, design and stitch, welcome to my blog. We have had hundreds of students over the years and it feels good to be able to communicate ideas with them. I thought I would write my first blog entry about sketchbooks.


Powerful Images in Sketchbooks
This week I am working with a group of students who are taking the Level 1 Color Course. It gives me an opportunity to pull out some of my sketchbooks to show them different color scales, color schemes and painted pages as examples. I have a very wide assortment of themes, ideas and painted pages in the books as well. I use my books for notetaking, thumbnails, designing, drawing, color studies, photographs and almost anything I feel like. I have a few pictures that my grandchildren have drawn as well as unfinished pieces and work in progress. My sketchbooks go back about 30 years. So as you can imagine, there are many of them. The sketchbook pages enable me to recall almost everything that was happening at the time the page was worked. Images are very powerful visual memories. Many of my sketchbooks feel very personal but in the past years I have been sharing the pages with my students. I get a tremendous feeling of fulfillment from working in my sketchbooks as do my students.


The Procastinating Sketchbook Artist
Anybody can learn to create within a sketchbook regardless of having an art background. So many of my students are concerned that each page of their sketchbook needs to be a well orchestrated piece of artwork in itself. This may come from seeing presentation sketchbooks, rather than books with an assortment of media, ideas and works in progress. The idea of perfection takes over and that is when procrastination sets in. Think of the book as a number of pages that can be colored, doodled on, write notes or memories in and that the book need only be seen by you. You do not need to be able to draw, nor do you need to think about filling all of the pages. If you are unhappy about one page, either turn the page or glue it to another so it doesn’t offend you. Here are a few pictures to spur you on:


The pages show a color study for the Pacific Northwest - colors for the beach. Neutral colors are made from orange and blue acrylic paint.


Acrylic paint has been painted on both pages. One of my beach photographs of kelp has been glued to the right side. I have drawn over the acrylic pages using colored pencils, regular pencils and very fine fiber tip pens.

Northwest Inspirational Photo Gallery: 

Inspirational photos of kelp from the beach. All photos © Gail Harker

 Upcoming course in our Sketchbook Series –

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bobbie Larson permalink
    March 7, 2011 4:43 pm

    Thanks Gail and to you and your students for a lovely weekend of art. I look forward to following activties on the ‘blog’

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