Friday, July 8, 2011

What The Sketchbook Challenge has Meant to Us

Periodically this month, we will be posting "What The Sketchbook Challenge has Meant to Us," from most of the artists in TSC.  


As I was drawing and painting this week, I was thinking about my involvement in the The Sketchbook Challenge, and what it has meant to me.  My watercolor palettes are out of the paint cupboard and I now carry a pencil in my purse, instead of just a black flair pen.  This challenge has brought me back to my roots of drawing and painting with watercolors.  As some of you know, my main medium is fabric and making art quilts.  Participating each month in interpreting the theme has been quite a challenge for me personally, but I feel that is important to continue to rise to the challenge. 

It has brought me a new way to see my work as an artist, broadening my horizons, spilling me over and seeing little by little how I am branching out as an artist.  The best part is that I am drawing - in my sketchbook, on labels, watercolor paper and looking at everyday items just a little differently of how they could be made into a book or a funky page.  Imagine the possibilities.  And truly, getting to know everyone in this challenge, to see the art world through different eyes and the sharing of ideas, friendship, inspiration and learning something new are just the icing on the cake.  Thank you all.
- Jamie Fingal - March - Spilling Over
Radio Interview scheduled for August 7th on Artistically Speaking

My original intention when I started the sketchbook challenge was to get better at drawing realistically but after a few months it became clear that was definitely not my style.  A few months into the challenge it became clear to me that my artistic voice comes through the strongest when I work in an abstract style.  Up until this past year I was dabbling in a lot of different styles and techniques and while I was having fun I felt too unfocussed.   The sketchbook challenge has really helped me to identify not only my artistic style but my voice as well and I’m well on my way to building a body of work that reflects that discovery.  I’ve become much more disciplined about keeping a sketchbook  and that’s really helped me to stay focused and more productive in the studio. 

The SC has given me the opportunity to work with and know some of the most gifted artists that I know and I’ve watched in awe as all of you have posted thousands of photos of your incredible work inspired by the themes posted each month.  Never in a million years did I imagine that the SC would touch and inspire so many people.  The last 6 months have been an incredible journey and it’s been a privilege to have shared it with all of you.
- Sue Bleiweiss - apr 2012
Radio Interview was January 16th on Artistically Speaking 

Leave us a comment and tell us what the sketchbook challenge has meant to you!


  1. Everything!! I haven't drawn or painted since 1997...when this challenge started I found my big tote of supplies and my pal Kerry gave me some watercolor pencils and a waterbrush and I'm seeing the world in a different way!!
    I needed this...I needed the monthly chanllenges to help me focus and I needed the inspiration of all the wonderful artist in this group for I am learning so much and hope there is a SC II!;)
    Between quilting and drawing the house is getting dirty!!:)

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  3. I was waning and uninspired, then I found TSC and my creative energy has been ignited. It's given me focus, inspiration, guidance and the courage to try style, mediums and techniques I would never otherwise try. Now I feel like I can keep exploring, connect to other participants and I've even started my own blog. Thank you so much for the project and for the encouragement. xx

  4. I, too, am LOVING this new way of being. I am far more focused. I find myself driving down the street looking at everything I pass as to how it relates to this month's challenge. Thus, I am seeing things in a much richer manner. I find I do this more during the months that have been harder to relate to. Besides that, my dining room table has become my "studio" with drawing board, watercolors, masking fluid, pens, etc. all neatly laid out, ready for me whenever the inspiration takes hold. SO much better than having to get everything out. And, I don't even mind having that little corner of "mess", because it is bringing me such creative pleasure! Thank you so much for organizing this!!

  5. I stopped working full time last November so I could devote time to painting and art. TSC came along at just the right time to give me a focus each day. W/C, acrylic, collage,pencil; I've filled one Canson sketchbook (I like big books to work in for journaling as well) and just started on another. Finally, I'm immensely impressed with the leaders of the pack! There's always a new idea and I am growing as an artist. Thank you all!

  6. Sketchbook Challenge has enlivened my creative life in so many ways. It has given me direction, inspiration and a discovery of NEW re the possibilities of letting the "making of art" into my life. Thank you all!


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