Saturday, October 8, 2011

special guest sketchbook profile: Terri Stegmiller

Terri Stegmiller is a Mixed Media Textile Artist and is the author of Creative Paper Quilts – Appliqué, Embellishment, Patchwork, Piecework.

I have been creating art of various types for as long as I can remember.  Mixed media has really captured my attention and the journey it has taken me on is thrilling, to say the least.  My current work focuses on texture and color.  I find that I'm drawn to creating female faces and flowers.  I also enjoy cats and love to portray them in my work as well.  I live in Mandan, North Dakota, with my husband.  I love flower gardening and also enjoy reading.  I have no formal art education.  My education is through my experience.  I love the challenge of learning a new technique or process and making it work for my needs.

Why do you keep a sketchbook and how often do you work in it?

I keep a sketchbook for many reasons.  When there is a subject matter that I'd like to work with, I start sketching it often in order to feel like I'm confident in my ability to portray that object in a manner that I'm happy with.  I also enjoy keeping a sketchbook to just doodle randomly in and I like to also create painted, full-color spreads in some of my sketchbooks.  I rarely keep a sketchbook with me when I'm out and about.  I've never been the type to whip out a sketchbook when in a public place and start drawing a scene or object in front of me.

Do you work in just one at a time or do you have several going at once?

I've got so many sketchbooks going at one time, that it's almost not funny.  Of course some of my sketchbooks are designated for just wet media because they have the right type of paper in them.  Some I deem only for use when doodling/Zentangling.  And then there are those that I just draw in for the sake of drawing to perhaps come up with some new art designs.  These many sketchbooks are spread all over the house and it can be quite frustrating when I want to revisit a design and I can't remember which book I drew it in. 

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 don't really have a huge preference because I use different types of sketchbooks for different reasons.  I do, however, really like watercolor paper.  It has a wonderful presence and is such a good surface for anything.  I enjoy drawing mostly in pencil and either Micron pens or Pitt artist pens.  I love the graphic contrast of black ink on white paper.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to keep a sketchbook but doesn't know how to begin?

If you've never worked in a sketchbook, you might feel more comfortable using a pencil.  This gives you the sense that you can erase something you don't like....although I recommend not doing that.  There is a sense of satisfaction on seeing your first sketching attempts in your first sketchbook and comparing them to the sketches in your third or fourth sketchbook.  Just start drawing!  Pick an object that is near and dear to you.  Something simple.  If you are striving for realism in your drawings that will come over time, don't fret if it isn't achievable right away.  I always say that you are training your brain/eye/hand to all work together when trying to draw a specific object.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Once you have one or more sketchbooks behind you, you'll wonder why you didn't start doing this sooner.  I'm amazed at how many books I've actually filled already and I find when I look back through them that I gain new ideas from my sketches and I also find it helps me when I'm having a creative block.  Get sketchin', you'll love it!


  1. I really enjoyed learning more about you Terri. It always fascinates me how everyone is so different in their approach to a sketchbook. Thanks for sharing your insight and delightful art with us!

  2. Wonderful interview. Thank you for allowing us to learn more and realize there is no right or wrong way however...just begin doing something.


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