I am mixed media artist working in paper and cloth. My background includes degrees in Graphic Design and Asian Studies, and my work history has been in graphic design and marketing (and a long time ago, an international flight attendant). In 1992, I began my fine arts career painting in watercolor, then morphed into collage and sewing on paper. By 1998, I was a full-time artist. In 2003 I began working with cloth and creating art quilts. Now my work is a combination of all that—watercolor, collage and cloth and combining them all. Read more...
Why do you keep a sketchbook and how often do you work in it?
I keep a sketch to stay in the moment, to record the things I see, to be present, to practice my craft of drawing and painting. I paint in my sketchbook a couple of times a week, but now, about once a week.
Do you work in just one at a time or do you have several going at once?
At this time, I’ve got a couple going at once. A theme book, where I’m exploring my love of rusty round gear shapes, a watercolor sketchbook, and larger book, meant for messy collage and individual watercolor paper in 5x7” journal size sheets.
What's your preferred format (sketchbook size, type of paper, single sheet, spiral bound etc?) and preferred medium for using in your sketchbook? watercolor, pen, pencil, crayon, collage etc?
I love the 5x8” Moleskine Watercolor Journal, and have filled 14 of those. I like to make my own, from one large sheet of paper, more like a giant collage, then fold it into a book—those are theme or location oriented. And lately, I’ve been doing the individual sheets and make a portfolio for them, usually those are travel related. My medium is mostly ink and watercolor. When I do paint and collage, which I love, it has to have its own book.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to keep a sketchbook but doesn't know how to begin?
I’d say start with what you love. Paint some pages then doodle or draw from real life or from pictures you’ve collected and pasted in that you’re attracted to. You can always collage or paint over them and build a sketchbook rich in texture and color. I look at a sketchbook as creative play.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I teach a workshop “Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style” and many, many of my students have never drawn. They are amazed at themselves, when they just take the time to sit still, really look at the object, and draw what they see, not what they think they see. It’s a very rewarding class to teach, because I can share my love of journaling and its ability to really savor the moment.
Visit Jane's website here to see more of her work.
Get all the details on the Sketchbook Challenge here.