Sunday, November 20, 2011

Special Guest Sketchbook Participant Profile: Carol Wiebe

Carol Weibe considers art a bridge...

I use it to cross from ordinary, everyday life into “another country.” This place is akin to a dream “landscape.” Colors are brighter, more intense. When I am there, time has little meaning, at least temporal time. There is a sense, rather, of being part of eternity. I simply follow the dictates of my hands and heart. Intuition is magnified. I have frequent conversations with angels and archetypes. We speak symbolically: everything is rich with meaning, and import. I am given tasks to attempt, and insights about how to perform them. My spirit sings ~ it feels completely, blissfully, at home.

How has the sketchbook challenge influenced your sketchbook keeping practice?
I am actually fairly new to sketchbook keeping. I subscribed to this notion of “Why make a sketchbook page when you can make a piece of art for the wall instead?” However, after reading many testimonies from artists, waxing eloquent about how sketchbook practice contributed to their development in significant ways, I decided to give it a try.
That is the reason I joined the Sketchbook Challenge ~ as an extra motivation to encourage me to work in this mode.

Tell me how you're approaching each challenge - do you jump right in and start sketching as soon as the new challenge word is posted or do you reflect on it first? 
This may sound like I’m evading a straight answer, but it’s both. As an artist who is in love with process, I start a work by doing something spontaneous and using that to discover what to do next. But then I reflect on what I’ve done, while encouraging my mind to roam the universe, sniffing out clues that pertain to the given stimulus. The more far fetched these associations are, the more fun I have retrieving and playing with them. After a while, I sense it’s time to paint, draw, and stitch again. I’m constantly going back and forth, juggling like mad. It’s exhilarating.

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

I always have a number of works on the go. While one work is drying, another is being painted, and another is in flurry mode (a storm of collage, painting, stitching, etc.). I do the same thing with reading; I can never read just one book at a time.

What's your preferred format (sketchbook size, type of paper, single sheet, spiral bound etc?) and have you found your preferred medium for using in your sketchbook? watercolor, pen, pencil, crayon, collage etc?
It is important to me that I create the book as well as fill the pages, so my preferred format is to make my own books to work in. Most of them are 8 ½” by 11,” a few are half that size. The pages are really small paper quilts, with crocheted edges that I sew together at the spine. Collage is essential to my process, and much of it is also stitched before I adhere it to the surface. The collage materials I use are all my own printed papers, which began as paintings, drawings or digital artwork. Acrylic paint is my preferred medium, but I also use pencil crayons, pastel, Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils, Caran d'Ache watersoluble neocolors and ink. Come to think of it, I’ll throw just about anything colorful at a page!

Anything else you'd like to add?
My latest book has the title “Engagement.” In my view, being engaged with the world is the most important kind of engagement there is, though many would read that word and immediately visualize a diamond on someone’s finger. The pages I’ve created have a hole in one (no, I’m not a golfer) that allows you to view an orange haired woman on one side, and an orange sphere on the other. A poem accompanies this book, which will be housed in a pocket on the back cover.

I am always delighted by the myriad of interpretations artists bring to each theme in the Sketchbook Challenge. I have also found the contributions by the hosts of the challenge to be stimulating and informative.


  1. Great to hear from Carol. She has been one of my Flickr contacts for a while now, and I check into her work frequently.

  2. Yes, It's wonderful to hear from Carol. An artists' sketchbook is something I seem to keep only sporadically and not purposefully. I have a number of small sketchbooks orbiting my house and car, and one never knows what one will find in them!

  3. Jane, I always appreciate your comments and visit your work often as well, as you know.

  4. Wanda! I've lost touch since the Cracked Paper Quilts Ning, but have now made you a contact on Flickr. I took a look at your paintings, and as in everything else, your spirit shines through!