Saturday, June 16, 2012

Colorado Sketchbook

Hi guys!
Carol Sloan back with more urban sketching from my personal sketchbooks.

I recently returned from a nine day trip to Colorado.
I live in South Carolina where my town's elevation is 819 feet above sea level.
I traveled across one ridge of mountains in Colorado that was almost 12,000 feet above sea level last week!
It was just breathtakingly beautiful to see this area of the United States.

I taught a couple of classes at my friend Deb Pruitt's home studio, "Blue Twig Studio" in Colorado Springs.

Then I traveled to Winter Park, Colorado to "Art Camp For Women" to teach a book making class to a fabulous group of women.
The views were just amazing, the weather perfect (if you don't count the plane ride into Denver that is) and my trip was just wonderful.

I put together a handmade book to take on the trip with me.
I wanted to dedicate one book for this trip so I decreased the total number of pages that I stitched into the book.
I realized some where along the line that I love making the books and filling them up but I get so bored carrying the same old book with me for too long. So I decided to make books with less pages in them.
I can fill them up quickly, which lets me make more books (which lets me get more supplies - I mean USE more of my supplies) (lol).

It's all good in that equation.

Back to the Colorado Book.

I started out by making a few random swipes of paint on some of the pages.
No rhyme or reason to it...just whatever paint was out and close...I swiped it across a few pages, sometimes spritzing it with water to allow drips of paint to run on (or off) the page.
My plan was to use those areas later to draw in to or sketch on.
Here's one of them where I added a little bit of "urban sketching" from my plane window.

I added a couple of thermofax screen images (the female face on the left and square journaling box on the right) to this page as well.
On the right hand page, you can see the words "some where over Kansas". The circles under that are what I saw from my window seat.
I love the patterns that those circles make in the fields below, don't you?
I later added more journaling during the flight from South Carolina to Colorado (with a stop in Atlanta on the way).

The two page spread above shows another way that I add color to the empty page in addition to swiping paint on them.
I take a different color of paint (in this example it's the yellow) and paint some of the areas next to the drips or swipes of paint.
I go back in with a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens and outline the shapes, sometimes making animals or other goofy things out of them.
It's really kind of amazing at what you can find in these seemingly random applications of paint.

If you look closely on the lower left hand page above, I have drawn a small line of (dead) pine trees that I could see from  the window in my room at Art Camp at Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park.
It was almost dark and I could see the outline of the trees so perfectly.
It was a beautiful yet sad and haunting sight as so many pines have succumbed to the pine beetle out there.
It may have opened up a lot of majestic views but I hate to think of how many thousands of trees the area has lost that way.

Notice how I used the paint drips, blobs and lines to add color and interest to my sketchbook pages.
Very, very simple thing to do!

None of these pages are complete yet. I'll continue to add more paint, drawing and journaling until my pages feel finished.

Your "urban sketching" pages don't have to be of an urban area - just the area that you're in...just draw your world and share it with everyone else.
We want to see the world through your eyes and sketchbooks!


  1. Wow. This really opens up so many possibilities. Thanks, Carol.

  2. Thanks for the very fun time at Art Camp Carol. Think of those thousands of dead trees burning and you will have what is happening in CO now. hack hack. My book is lying open on my table and I'm looking for more comfortable clothes i.e. painty sweats to go there soon. I love the book I made in your class!

  3. Hello Carol, I'm a newbee to your blog but I'm loving it all already!. I'm starting to keep an art journal recently. I lived in Colorado for two years (Golden, Colorado) and the country is breathtakingly beautiful. I am from the lowlands of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia so...adjusting to the elevation in the Rockies was quite tricky for me :). Your post today, brings me smiles and good memories of my time there. TFS!.

  4. Wow Carol! Love the color swipes! I think I saw those same circles from the air as I went to Vegas! Very interesting patterns in the crops and u did a great job catching them!


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