Patrick gifted me with the opportunity to participate in The Sketchbook Project, "a crowd-funded sketchbook museum and community space in Brooklyn". This means that The Sketchbook Project mailed me a small sketchbook for me to make marks in, write about online, and send back to their physical space at the The Brooklyn Art Library.
I freely admit that it was intimidating to commit to a theme or approach for the sketchbook. This wasn't any old sketchbook. This one would live in a library and potentially be seen by other people! Conversely, my sketchbooks have been for me---for my process of working out projects ideas, planning, and practicing. For this project, I wanted the sketchbook to be a completed idea, but I also didn't want it to feel too polished. I still wanted it to be a sketchbook at heart. So, I decided to pursue what is interesting me right now--how objects, when arranged together, have relationships. To find objects, I went hunting at the the thrift store (Goodwill and Community Thrift) where I would snap photos of anything that interested me.
At home, I drew and painted them in arrangements.
A technical note: The Sketchbook Project provides you with a book, but you may change the book to meet your media needs--as long as the dimensions remain the same. In my case, I wanted to work with watercolor paint, a wet medium. So, I needed to switch out the paper to one that could hold up to watercolor on both sides. I used Canson XL Mixed Media paper, which is what I use in my own sketchbooks.
Anyway, once my book was complete (today), I filled out corresponding information about it online so that people could search for it. This required an artist statement and tags. Here is my artist statement:
To thrift stores we offer our rejected choices, the objects that no longer bring us joy, and the thrift stores collect our castoffs--accepting them to their shelves. This book looks at those unintentional assemblages and seeks to find connections among seemingly disparate objects. I visited two thrift stores and photographed anything that caught my eye. (I am particularly interested in vases, pitchers, and dishware). Then, at home, I drew and painted the objects, their patterns, and their motifs in arrangements on the page. The relationships and conversations would undoubtedly unfold as I worked. Thus, this book became an intentional place for all of these lost items, and it brings me joy.
Now, all that is left is dropping the sketchbook in the mail!!! Good news, the Libray is travelling to Chicago this summer! So, maybe I will be able to visit my sketchbook again. Below are scanned images of the sketchbook from cover to cover! Some were more successful than others. Enjoy!!!
PS For those of you noticing the due date, don't worry, they extended it to April 30th. I'm well within reach!
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.