It's A Wonderful Life!

It’s been another super busy week, but again somehow I’ve managed to keep up with my daily sketching, and am even on time with my Monday blog post for a change! Yay!

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As I mentioned in my last post, I was down to the last two pages of my Strathmore Visual Journal, so decided to finish it off with two little watercolour pieces done from photos I’d snapped on my visit to the cemetery last week. I like the paper in this little journal, but I really dislike the spiral binding, because it’s bulky and tends to get caught on things (or, since I carry it in my purse, maybe I should say that things get caught in it!). So, I’d decided long before I finished it, that I won’t buy any more spiral bound sketchbooks.

DSC 126 – from my own refs – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.

I still get too excited by the simple pleasure of being able to close a sketchbook for the final time, label it with the date and stick it on my shelf with my few other completed sketchbooks. I’ve finished so few over my life that it’s really a thrill to have completely filled my third sketchbook in just four short months! 🙂

DSC 127 – from my own refs – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor Visual Journal.

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Though I still have a few other sketchbooks to fill, I have none that are small enough to fit in my purse and that are also good for both pencil and watercolour, so I wanted to get something that would accommodate both needs. After a bit of research, I  finally decided to try the Stillman and Birn Alpha series sketchbook. Designed primarily for pencil media and light washes, a lot of artists nevertheless use them for heavier applications of water media. Unfortunately, my local art supply store doesn’t carry them, so I had to order online from Curry’s. Imagine my delight to discover that Curry’s also carries the Strathmore Tan-Toned sketchbook I have come to like so much — in a size small enough to fit in my purse!!! LOL  I ordered two of each sketchbook, so I should be set for a while! 🙂

New sketchbooks from Curry’s.

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An artist friend of mine has started a Haiku Project, in which she takes a daily photo and writes haiku to it. I have enough on my plate with my daily sketch challenge and don’t want to commit myself to anything else right now, but because I used to really enjoy writing haiku, I thought I might also write some to go with my sketches every now and again 🙂 I filled the first page of my new SB sketchbook with a drawing based on a photo taken by hubby of a little chickadee that was actually perched in his hand! It was fun trying to come up with the words to fit. I am definitely rusty when it comes to haiku!

DSC 128 – from a photo by hubby and imagination – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series sketchbook.

chickadee in tree
dangling starry lantern —
beacon or warning?

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Hubby got suddenly and unexpectedly sick with a very high fever this week, so I took him in to emergency on Thursday . . . where we spent 12 hours 🙁 I’m so very grateful for Canada’s free medical system . . . but could definitely do without the horrible wait times. Ah well. I’d brought my sketch stuff with me, knowing I would have plenty of time to sketch while we waited, but I ended up too worried and distracted to get anything done. At long last, after blood work, xrays, IV fluids and IV antibiotics, they sent us home with a tentative diagnosis of a kidney infection. I was too tired to do anything too fancy in my sketchbook that evening, so just did a little very wet watercolour experiment to test out my new sketchbook paper. I must say, I am VERY please with this paper! It works wonderfully for pencil and, though it does buckle a bit for watercolour, it’s very strong and doesn’t come close to tearing, not even when very wet!

DSC 129 – inspired by something I saw on Instagram, as well as from imagination – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series Sketchbook.

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Definitely enjoy how this paper works with pencil. It reminds me a lot of the paper in my old discontinued Deserres sketchbook, except it’s whiter and a bit smoother.

DSC 130 – from imagination – graphite in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series Sketchbook.

“Smell me,” Flower said.
Little mouse’s whiskers twitched —
Breath of sweet perfume.

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Over the past several months I’ve been watching 5 years worth of the old fantasy series, Merlin, on Netflix. I really enjoy the twist on the usual King Arthur story line. It’s been too long since I did any 5 minute movie/TV sketching, so decided to do a few scenes from Merlin while I watched it. I almost always do these scenes in pen, then add the watercolour (or not) at a later time.

DSC 131 – 5 minute sketches from paused TV series scenes – micron pen in 8.5″ x 11″ unknown brand sketchbook.

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More experimenting with watercolour — this time I used the watercolour over graphite to depict this little Nuthatch that hubby captured with his new camera while out exploring some nearby woods last weekend. Am very pleased with the results. (ooops!! Only noticed once I’d uploaded the photo that my count is off . . . this sketch should be 132-366 . . . I forgot I’d sketched the night before in a different sketchbook.)

DSC 132 – from a photo by hubby – watercolour in 5.5″ x 8.5″ Stillman & Birn Alphas series Sketchbook.

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Despite the disruption and worry this week with hubby being so sick, I have so much to be thankful for. Instead of going out for Mother’s Day dinner with the family as had been planned, hubby didn’t feel good enough to make that effort, so my daughter had us and my son over for a delicious chicken dinner with sweet potatoes and salad and my son provided a decadent chocolate caramel cake. I’ve been (mostly) on a gluten-free menu for a while now, but allowed myself the sweet treat . . . after all, it was Mother’s Day! 😀  And the best Mother’s Day gift of all — though a day late — hubby’s fever seems to finally be under control and he’s feeling a bit better than he’s been since last week 🙂 It truly is a wonderful life! 🙂


Mother’s Day blessings from my kids — a dozen beautiful roses, a colouring book, a novel and the best personalized card EVAH from my son! LOL

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