Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 2012 Prize Winners!

The winners of the June 2012 give away prize packages, chosen by random draw are:
(click on the winners names to see their sketchbook page)

Winners must email Sue at with their full name, flickr name and mailing address by 7/9/12 in order to claim their prize.  
The winner of the prize package giveaway from Gelli Arts! is:

the lucky winner will receive an 8"x10" Gelli Art plate!
The two luck winners of the $25 gift certificates from Joggles are:

The 3 lucky winners who will receive a piece of mail art from one of the sketchbook challenge artists are:

Winners must email Sue at with their full name, flickr name and mailing address by 7/9/12 in order to claim their prize.  Prizes not claimed by 7/9/12 are forfeited.

Thank you to everyone who posted photos in the flickr group and congratulations to all the winners! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

June Commercial Post

Workshops & Online Classes with your favorite Sketchbook Challenge artists.

We keep our commercial presence to one monthly post so that we can share other opportunities to take workshops, purchase art or enjoy other offerings from all of us. Check out our workshops and  books. Thank you for being a part of the Sketchbook Challenge! It's an honor to share this journey with you.

Pam Carriker

July 30 - August 7th Art Unraveled 2012 From 'Puzzling Portraits' to carving lino blocks and turning them into mixed media art journal pages in 'A Cut Above' the 10th anniversary of Art Unraveled promises to be an exciting time! I hope you'll consider joining me for one of my workshops in Phoenix, AZ this summer. If you want to check out more of my lino cuts you can see them in the May issue of Somerset Studio. Also be on the lookout for my new line of stamps inspired by that article  in the Shoppe at Stampington this July! More info here.

October 6-7, 2012 - Art Is Stamford, CT
Get the Lead Out! Mixing media with Liquid Pencil Sketching Inks
Busting Out-3D journal style, self portrait busts
I'll be wearing my tutu (cobalt teal of course) will you? If you are attending Art Is in October I hope you'll consider joining me for one of my workshops. We'll explore mixed media that includes using my new line of Liquid Pencil Sketching Inks and Mixed Media Adhesive to create collaged works of art. Afraid of creating a self portrait?  Well fear no more as we explore journaling, painting and learn how to shade a face on a 3D bust creating a perfect piece to display in your studio. More info here.

October 27th-November 3rd 2012 Art at the Speed of Life in Cortona Italy with Americana Tuscana!
Creating Art at the Speed of Life is about more than just creating art; it’s about finding the creative spirit that dwells within and feeding it on a daily basis. By incorporating daily sketching into our itinerary and expanding on it while we take field trips, feast on Italian foods and wine, and even learn something about Italian cooking, we will explore many mixed media techniques and mediums that both make art journaling exciting and doable! I’ve chosen one of my favorite journals to be our constant companion on this epic journey and it will provide us both a place to sketch and play with mixed media. I‘ll show you how to create you your own Personal Paint Palette right in your journal using Peerless Watercolor papers and Liquid Pencil Sketching Ink and we’ll make ‘Journal to Go Kits’ to take on our field trips through Tuscany, Italy.
 More info here.

Sue Bleiweiss
August 4, 2012, 10-4  Ink About It in Westford MA
Sue Bleiweiss will be teaching a Mixed Media sketchbook surfaces workshop. In this workshop you'll spend the day immersed in experimenting with screen printing, stenciling and leaf printing plus you'll learn how to add additional imagery to your papers by writing with a paint filled craft syringe. By the end of the day you'll have learned some new techniques to use when you work in your sketchbooks and you'll have a stash of gorgeous papers to incorporate into your sketchbook pages and collages.  Call Ink About It at 978-392-0321 to register for this class.

Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski  Wednesday July 18, 2012 3:00-5:00 est
Sue Bleiweiss will be on  Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski talking about her new book The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts & Inspiration for Achieving your Creative Goals.  More information about Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski here

Lyric Kinard
October 29th through November 3, 2012 
International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX
Come play at the biggest and best quilt conference you've ever seen. Classes with Lyric include Surface Design, Creative Collage, Abstract-A-Licious, and Just Foiling Around! More info here. 

Start your planning for next spring!
March 10-15, 2013 Quilting Adventures a five day retreat in Texas Hill Country : Surface Design Sampler Platter
Five fabulous days playing with fabric, paint, foil, photo transfer, beading, stamping, screen printing - and a little design too! More info here.

June 26 - July 2, 2013  Becoming an Artist in Italy!
The beauty of the Italian countryside is is a glorious setting for awakening your creative abilities and nurturing your desire to become an artist.  More info here.

Jane Davies
Jane Davies will be teaching at several retreats this summer.  Read about them HERE.

Judy Coates Perez
July 26-28, 2012 International Quilt Festival Long Beach
Judy Coates Perez will be teaching 10 Techniques with Acrylic Inks, Alternatively Bound and Stitched and Color Theory. More info here.
July 26   Alternatively Bound & Stitched
July 27   Color Theory
July 28   10 Textile Techniques Using Acrylic Inks

Deborah Boschert

Deborah Boschert is an instructor with 
STITCHED, a collection of 20 online video workshops. Her workshop is titled Branches, Buds and Blossoms: A Botanical Fabric collage and includes segments on surface design, composition and embellishment. More info here.

Deborah Boschert's new DVD workshop from Quilting Arts was just released! "Contemporary Fabric Collage: Design, Stitch and Finish" includes segments on fabric selection, using sheer fabrics and hand embroidery. More info here.

Sign up for Deborah Boschert's e-newsletter for regular updates and free pdf downloads.
Kelli Nina Perkins
2012 STITCHED Online Video Workshops. Over 20 projects with full video tutorials. Work all year, take as many as you'd like for one fee. More info here                 

October 2012 ART CAMP FOR WOMEN in beautiful Colorado. Join me, Carla Sonheim and other artists at an all inclusive art vacation retreat. We'll study self portraits and take in fresh mountain air with other creative spirits. Gourmet food and wine every day. More info here.

Jane LaFazio

Near Ashville, North Carolina, at Random Arts  July 1: Watercolor Sketchbook: Designs from Life; July 2: Wet Felting
More information here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Soccer Mom Sketching

Hey, it's Deborah. I decided to really embrace Carol's theme of "urban sketching" and pull out my tiny sketchbook while sitting on the side lines of one of my daughter's soccer games.
Here is my daughter, Claire. She plays goalkeeper and she's standing outside the box keeping her eyes on the game. It's a terrible picture because I zoomed in with my phone, but that's fine because I was really interested in the very basic shapes of the figure. I just wanted to give you an idea of what I was looking at. The yellow penny, the white sleeves, the sliver of shorts, the big gloves, the socks, her oval head.
I thought it might be interesting to draw her very very small and then a little larger and a little larger. You can see my three attempts on the left.
I think the middle one is the best though still very rough. This is a great technique to explore as you are urban sketching. First: tiny tiny tiny with almost no detail. Does it still look like what you see? Then a bit bigger: focusing on on shapes. Even bigger: adding details.

On the right side of that page, I did a quick sketch as she was crouching to make a save. I wish there had been a bit more time on the sideline. We were late to the game after searching for the field and for parking. Maybe I would have added color. It might have also helped me calm down after the frantic, frustrating search for the game. Ahem.

Collaged Urban Sketching: Urban Birdscape

Leslie here.  I love the June theme of Urban Sketching!  I tend not to do as much of this when I am in my own space, but this is a constant activity during my travels.  I find that, while traveling, I have a much more vivid set of memories about a specific place if I have taken the time to really "look" at things and draw them.  I can instantly flash back to that place when I open my sketchbook at a later time.

Since I have been home this month I decided to look at my own urban surroundings in the same way I would if I were traveling.  One of my interests in my home environment is the habitat for bird in my garden.  We are experiencing severe heat and drought in South Texas.  Birds have a tough time finding food and water.  Part of my gardening process has always been to cultivate plants and create habitat for birds that provide seeds, shelter, and water.  I created two collages that speak to this  endeavor.

The first collage begins with a page torn from a magazine.  The paper was monoprinted using a gelatin plate (this was done previously and it was languishing in my drawer awaiting this project!).
Using a note mailed to me by a daughter, an old book page, and a tag, I created a nice composition 
over the monoprinted page.  Over this, I screened a thermofax print of a bird I drew, and also used Tsukineko ink through a Julie Balzer stencil to create the "spilled liquid" look on the book page.

I printed a scanned image of an egg onto a piece of TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) and cut it to size.

I positioned the TAP paper, face down, onto the collage surface.

Using my dry iron I stabilized the TAP paper and pressed, moving the iron in small circles
until the image transferred to the paper below.
(You can gently lift one corner and "peek" to see if the image is transferring as long as you use care not to shift the paper).

The image is mostly transferred, and has a transparent appearance that I really like.  I personally like it when there is a bit of a rough edge to the transfer.

Sorry this is turned to the idea why!

Next, I created a collage in a new Smash Journal I just purchased.  I like the idea of this book:  just "smash" this and that into the book and keep layering.  
I used clear gesso for my page prior to adding any collaged elements, drawing, or wet media.
The journal comes with tool that is a pen on one end and a glue stick on the other!  Love this!
Clear gesso is applied to the paper prior to wet media.

First, I glued the book page to the notebook page, then I drew my little Caroline Wren.
I look at this wren just outside my kitchen window.  She comes close to drink water out of the ant trap that hangs above my hummingbird feeder (as does a gecko!).  It is all very entertaining!

I wanted to add just a bit of watercolor to give a bit of color relief to the page.
Also, I used a palette knife and scraped on some white paint for texture over the book page.

I clipped a piece of stenciled "punchinella" into the collage.
I like these alcohol ink pads for stenciling.  I think I might like using this little foam tool for 
my lettering stencils more than just about anything else as the ink dries quickly and doesn't run under the stencil.

This is a cheap set of stencils I picked up from Office Max.
They are small, so I frequently include them in my travel art kit.
Using the alcohol ink pad, I stenciled "urban birdscape" on the edge of the page.
Also seen:  a hand-carved stamp printed on the left edge, and I wrote some thoughts about my urban birdscape over the book page print.

I hope this gives you another method of working in your sketchbook.  Sometimes, a little drawing in a portion of the page is fun and adds interest.  Keep on sketching!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Urban Sketching

I've been seriously pursuing "Urban Sketching" for about a year.
The first few times that I went, my pen marks were very light...kinda wobbly and probably not to good.
I was not feeling secure about sketching in public.

But the longer that I sit in public places and sketch, the less I worry about the end product - the actual sketch.
I'm loving the practice of urban sketching.
It makes me feel a little more secure in my abilities, a little less concerned about what other people think of my sketching and, above all, it lets me stop and really see the world around me.

That's one of the "side effects", if you will, of this urban sketching activity.
You begin to truly look at and see every little thing in your world.
Not just the things that you are drawing but the potential subjects.

Everything begins to look like a sketch waiting to happen.
It makes the world a more beautiful place.

It allows you to celebrate the beauty in the ugly things around you.

I've got page after page of urban sketches - some of them aren't too bad, some of them continue to hide in my sketchbook - embarrassed by the thought of being shown in public.

I'll share a few more with you today.

This is a partial sketch of the Greenville Art Museum. I added a tiny bit
of watercolor on site but wasn't able to complete this there.
I usually don't add any more details/paint at home.

A playground robot stands guard over the playground .

I plucked some lavender from the garden and drew it before I took it in the house.
I was drawing on a piece of cold press watercolor paper -
I love the way that the uneven paper grabs the graphite.

While sitting in my car, waiting on my sketching  buddies, I drew a local
McDonald's as a warm-up sketch. I had forgot my water brush so I used
watercolor pencils instead.

This is a metal sculpture in Greenville SC. I love the lines of it.
I had to draw it several times to get the lines right...
I can see from this sketch that I need more practice with it!

This is one of the beautiful old buildings in downtown Greenville SC.
Our city has spent many, many hours (and dollars) on revitalization of the area.
I am so proud to call this area home. I love to see people milling about downtown, enjoying
this beautiful and busy city.

I hope that I have tempted you to step outside your comfort zone and do some urban sketching.
It will reward you in ways that you would not expect if you just give it a chance.

My plan now is to step a little farther out of my own comfort zone and begin sketching more people.
Real live moving people...

What's your plan?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The sketchbook Challenge Book Blog Hop!

The Sketchbook Challenge: Techniques, Prompts and Inspiration for Achieving Your Creative Goals Book officially releases today  and we're celebrating it with a blog hop to give away over $1200 worth of prizes donated by some incredibly generous sponsors!  Read on for details!

Available at Amazon, ArtPlantae and  Barnes & Noble

So how does a blog hop work you ask?  Starting today and continuing through July 10 we'll be featuring two blogs for you to visit.  Each of the blogs will have a post about the book and information about the prizes you can win just for leaving a comment on the post.   And let me tell you, we've got some amazing prize packages for you to win - here's the list of what we'll be giving away:

Mistyfuse : Mistyfuse is giving away NINE packages of  a 10yd combination package of Mistyfuse that includes 6 yards of White and 2 yards each of Black and Ultraviolet and a Goddess Sheet and ONE package of Three 10yd packages of Mistyfuse: a white, black and ultraviolet and a  BIG Goddess Sheet.

ArtPlantae Today is giving away Making Handmade Books and a second prize comprised of one copy of Botany for Artists and one package of Plant Notes Bookmarks

Joggles is giving away two $25 gift certificates to

Sue Pelland Designs is giving away A Leaves Galore Grande size template , Quilter's Chalk Line, and the pattern of their choice from her website with free shipping (Continental USA).

ProChemical and Dye is giving away two $25 gift certificates to ProChemical and Dye

The Thread Studio is giving away a pack of machine embroidery threads and a pack of flaked gilding leaf.

The Artist Cellar is giving away TWO complete sets (28 stencils each!) of Artist Cellar Stencils.

KathyAnne White is giving away a free member ship to the KathyAnne Art Website which includes free access to over 40 workshops in a variety of subjects from journaling to digital printing on alternative surfaces with a new free workshop for members posted every month!  During the blog hop,KathyAnne  will post a coupon for a free workshop “Studio Journals Mini Workshop” In this workshop she shows you how to create a studio journal based on her journal for her project in The Sketchbook Challenge book.  Look for details on June 27th in her blog hop post on how to find the coupon to download the workshop from the KathyAnne Art site.

That's over $1200 worth of prizes - can you believe it?!  Here's the official blog hop schedule - visit the featured blogs on the days indicated for your chance to enter to win a prize:

So hop on over to the two featured blogs for today and find out what we're giving away!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Scribbling as Graffiti

Jane Davies here.  I've had a hard time relating to "urban" anything, but was intrigued by this challenge.  I see that "urban sketching" has morphed into graffiti, which I'm not sure exactly what that means.  But in the spirit of mark-making, I'll just share what I've been doing: SCRIBBLING.  This is my form of graffiti in my sketchbook or on loose sheets of paper.  Just making marks, seeing what they do, how different lines and shapes dance together or avoid each other. 
Layered Blind Scribble

Layered Blind Scribble

Scribble Painting, 10"x10"

Scribble Painting, 9"x12"

Encaustic Scribble Painting on Paper, 8"x8"

Postcard, encaustic on paper, 6"x4"

Scribble Painting over gel print, 9"x12"
Thanks for visiting.  When in doubt, MAKE MARKS!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Exploring Layers of Urban Imagery

Judy Coates Perez here, I am a random sketchbook person. I admit to falling out of the habit of drawing on a regular basis and know I should do more. I am happy to say my ex and I have raised a daughter who never leaves the house with out some form of sketchbook with her though.

I use my 'sketchbooks' as a place for inspiration, filling them with not only drawings but also photos and things I find interesting. Now that I use so much technology (computers, iphones and tablets) my definition of sketchbook has stretched to include drawing apps and collections of photo imagery that I use as inspiration when painting.

I love this theme of Urban Sketching, I know I could spend months exploring this topic. I'm going to do something a little different today and share a recent photo safari to an area just west of my neighborhood in Chicago, underneath the Metra train tracks, to see another take on 'urban sketching' by artists who 'draw' with a can of spray paint.

I like how this graffiti artist worked with the structure of the staggered block wall.

I am particularly entranced by the layering of type and imagery that create such beautiful complex images when cropped.

It's this kind of layering of imagery that I have been exploring for the last couple years with my painting.

 These ones were really pretty with metallic bronze paint.
A discarded metal tree sculpture added another point of interest.

The massive chandelier was another interesting addition to this urban space. It's probably about 8 feet across with silk flowers entwined around it. I could do a whole other post about layers of rusty decay from this excursion.
I know this was a bit of a deviation from the usual sketchbook post, but I hope you find it inspiring and another way to look at artistic beauty hidden in plain site.