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Research and painting for exhibits has kept me occupied over the last few months, and that will continue for the near future, but I have also taken out my sketchbook on occasion; mostly on Urban Sketchers Edmonton sketchouts. Here are a few pages from my non-daily sketchbook for August to November:

I just read the Artsy article Why You Should Keep a Daily Sketchbook—and How to Get Started. It contains very good advice, a fair bit of which I need to take. Here are their suggestions:

Suggestion #1: Got that one – check!

Suggestion #2: I must admit that I favour sketchbooks with pages that are perforated so I can tear them out and chuck the ones that make me feel like giving up on art altogether. However, I do keep, and even post, some that I am not happy with because they help to remind me of what does and doesn’t work.

Suggestion #3: I tend toward observation in my sketches and a combination of observation & imagination in my paintings. My friend, artist, and fellow urban sketcher, Karen Wall, is absolutely the best at observation and imagination in her sketches.

The article’s suggestion about blind contour drawing is a good reminder for me to do more. I love it and it helps loosen up my line, which gets a bit too tight sometimes. Here is a blind contour drawing that I did of a friend a few years ago.

Suggestion #4: I actually did this a few years back. My sketchbook is nestled in the stacks of the Brooklyn Art Library, and I get a notification every time someone checks it out to look at it. The one I deposited is a collage/sketchbook and it was a lot of fun to do. Anyone can give it a try, and become a part of the Sketchbook Project!

My Sketchbook Project cover features one of my all-time favourite archival wedding photo poses. (Mr. and Mrs. Steven Stepchuk. Provincial Archives of Alberta#B7530 – E. Brown photographer). As is sadly so often the case, the newly wed Mrs. Stepchuk has been stripped of her identity – not even her first name is provided. Maybe that explains her attitude.

Suggestion #5: I need to work more on this one. My tendency is just to document, although I notice that my line and style change depending on how I am feeling while sketching. Maybe I’ll start to write a note about my mood on the back of each sketch, and see how that correlates. A little art/science experiment.

I will carry on believing that it is an excellent idea to keep a daily sketchbook.

Posted by Marlena Wyman

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