To start, here are the last few sketches from my previous sketchbook, a Stillman & Birn Alpha 8.5 x 5.5. This has been my go-to lately and I love it.
When I completed that sketchbook, I switched to the Stillman & Birn Alpha 5.5 x 3.5 - considerably smaller! I've been inspired lately (and always, really) by Gabi Campanario's work in this size sketchbook (see his site here).
It is good to mix up your sketchbooks, sketchbook sizes, and materials sometimes. Liz Steel just posted a great article about this very thing! You can see her article here, and you should just read as much as you can while you're at it. Liz is very analytical about her sketching choices and very generous with sharing her insights.
Even though I've used this size several times before - I even took this size to Paris a couple of years ago (see sketches here), I was struggling with the change. So Liz's article came at a perfect time for me to see that the change is a struggle, but that it's important to mix it up to keep your work fresh and to use your brain and your hands a little differently.
My oldest nephew turned 21 and he went to Memphis Made with us for a beer. It was precious!
There's a break in my sketchbook from January 19 to January 25 because I was sick with a cold/sinus thing. I wasn't so sick that I couldn't sketch, I wasn't even that sick. I was just. so. tired. And being that tired - not feeling like doing my normal things - made me a little depressed. I know that sketching and making art in general makes me feel good and more like myself but I couldn't even make myself sketch a coffee cup, and after a while I realized that I didn't want to bring a thing I love (sketching) into an unhappy place with me. But eventually my energy came back and I picked up my pen again.
The next time that happens - because there will always be a time I don't feel like sketching - I'm going to try sketching/doodling a pattern, or drawing from a picture. That will ease the pressure, and maybe make me feel better sooner.
Earlier this month Memphis Urban Sketchers met up at Edge Alley - a great coffee shop/restaurant in the Edge District. It was a great outing - a ton of sketchers joined us, and after what seemed like a lifetime of rain, the sun came out and it was a lovely warm day. I stayed inside in a sunny spot at the window and ate and sketched a delicious meal.
We also went to the Edge District in October - here are my sketches from that outing.
Warm up, thumbnails, and notes on that week's #bythebones diary comics.
Hope you can join us at our next sketch outing this Saturday, February 2, 10:00 AM at The South Main Market (food hall), 409 S. Main (at Huling).
Tonight was Studio Night! I did some preparation for teaching on Thursday and worked on a new idea for a show I have coming up later this year. I didn't have time to sketch any of it, so I found these two sketches of my studio from several months ago. It still pretty much looks like this.
When I scanned in those last two sketches I was surprised by how many sketchbook pages I had not scanned yet. I did more sketching in December than I realized! These are mostly quick sketches of everyday things and places interspersed with maps and notes. Just keeping track of my days!
Click Read More below - there are nine more sketches!
Okay, just one more acknowledgement of the social construct that is the new year. I worked at home on Monday, but took time to study my new coffee mug and to document my Christmas tree before taking it down.
Tuesday was a lovely New Year's Day! Just relaxed at home all morning, then joined friends for black-eyed peas and a game of cards. Hope you had a lovely day, too!
I'm teaching two classes at Flicker Street Studio in winter/spring and I hope you'll join us! Visit the Flicker Street Studio site to sign up.
Mixed Water Media and Composition
January 17, 24, 31, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
This class is good for beginners and for those with experience who want a new challenge. We'll explore a variety of mixed water media and techniques to learn about composition and create a finished painting over three weeks.
Getting Comfortable with Your Sketchbook
March 21, 28, April 4, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
All levels are welcome to learn to make a practice of using your sketchbook to tell the story of your everyday life. We'll explore materials and sketching techniques to help you get to know your sketchbook better.
I also added a new page on this site, Upcoming, to let you know about classes and shows.
I will spare you all of the "omg I can't believe I finally did this" and just present to you my sketches from Porto, Portugal. This is the trip that Toby and I took in July of 2018 so that I could attend the Urban Sketchers Symposium. This was the seventh USk Symposium I've attended and the first time we went to Portugal!
We had a fabulous time. I learned so much at the Symposium, and I also learned how much I love to eat fish! The Portuguese diet was my friend.
These are not all of my sketches, just a selection of my favorites.
Here's a list of what I did in 2018:
Yesterday the Memphis Urban Sketchers went to the library to sketch - this is the Benjamin Hooks or Central Library. We are never sure what the weather will be like at the beginning of December, and yesterday did not disappoint with unexpected 70-degree weather. A few people went outside to sketch, but I went up to the top floor to sketch the view and a dichroic glass public art piece by Ed Carpenter.
And here's a sketch from earlier in the year that I haven't posted here yet. It's from the Memphis Urban Sketchers' September gathering at the Memphis Farmers Market. It was definitely higher than 70 degrees that day!
This is the story of how Kristen Haas Curtis and I made a thing together, #bythebones, a game of randomized constraints that helps you create diary comics. If you’ve never tried diary comics, this is a fun way to start. If you have, it’s a good way to challenge yourself or get out of a rut.
I’ve been making comics on and off kind of forever. Comics run in my family, so I made them a bit as a kid, and then about four or five years ago I started feeling the need to tell stories with words and images. This June I committed to making diary comics, and Kristen and I devised #bythebones as a way to help with layout and structure, and to overcomplicate things in a fun way.
You can find the full instructions at Kristen's site, hellomizk.com, and you can follow her diary comics and other comics on Twitter (@hellomizk) and Instagram (@hellomizk).
Here are a few examples of my #bythebones comics from the last couple of months, and I'll be posting new ones this week on Instagram and Twitter. If you decide to play along, please use the hashtag #bythebones. Good luck and have fun!