A Year of Sketching

Secret Belgium Binding Journal 27cm x 24.5cm 200gsm paper

My Seasons of Color Journal, all new and pristine

New Sketch Book 29.5 x 20cm 180gsm water colour paper

My sketch book

It has been a year since I made and started using my journal and sketch books.  I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed the experience and how it has enriched my life.  It is on par with starting this blog, which is also now three years old.  Funny I am not into new years resolutions, but I do reflect on each year as it starts and think what I would like to do in that year to enrich my life.  February does seem to be the month that I start on the new plans, something I just realised as I write this.


One of my favourite spreads in my journal combining pattern, sketches and thoughts on the time of year.

This blog has given me a vehicle to share my art with the world and the friends I have made in doing so has been marvelous. Their kind and supportive comments have given me the courage to exhibit my art and to think that it has merit in the artistic community.  I have also learnt a great deal from the artists that I follow and the generous sharing of their skills and practice.

Beach Walk  watercolour pencils and ink.  Journal page

Still one of my favourite pages in my journal.   Walking my dog on the beach

My journal and sketch books have also given me a great deal, I have tended to  draw and experiment more and to keep these sketches in one place to look back on.  Before most of the drawing I did was of finished pieces of art and I was not practicing my skills as much as I thought was needed.  This playing around in the sketch book has broadened what I do now and I have been able to expand my practice.  I was able to play with patterns and these turned into the art work that went into my exhibition.

Dusk in Fitzroy

Dusk in Fitzroy from my Sketch book.  Another drawing I did while waiting to meet a friend for dinner.

I started with the Seasons of Colour journal where I do random drawings with a rough nod to the season.  I started the sketch book in July and it is where I do drawings of my surroundings and I take with me when I am out and about.  My drawing skills have improved a great deal and my confidence in being able to draw what I see has improved greatly.  The online courses in Sketchbook Skool and joining Urban Sketchers group have influenced what I do in this sketch book and have been a great place to learn and be inspired to sketch.  I have found that I enjoy taking the time to do sketches on site and am partial to setting my self up to draw in a cafe with a glass of wine waiting to meet up with friends for dinner or just as a great way to spend quality time with myself and my art.

Bali Offering, Water soluble crayons, ink etc

Bali Offering, Water soluble crayons, ink etc

One of the other great joys is going back over the year in the sketch books and seeing such great reminders of what happened over the year and what resonated with me enough to be put into the sketch books.  The memories of holidays are so much richer from the sketches that I did while I was away.

Temple Ubud Water colour, coloured pencils and ink journal

Temple Ubud Water colour, coloured pencils and ink journal

I hope you have enjoyed the year of sketching that I have shared with you, for indeed the sharing and feedback of the sketches with my blogging friends and followers has been such an important part of the journey.  I have updated ‘From My Journal” page if you would like to see the drawings from the journal and sketch book.  (There are new drawings in there that I haven’t posted before.)

So here is cheers to the joys of sketching and blogging, they have become an important part of my life, thank you.

45 Spring Gully Oct 14

A page from my sketchy walks, a favourite pastime now. It has changed the way I walk in the bush.


13 responses to “A Year of Sketching

  1. Wonderful post, Karen. Though I don’t have a sketchbook, I do blog so I know exactly what you mean by saying blogging (and sketching) have become important parts of your life. They are enriching, aren’t they?! I think, in a way, that blogs are the most rewarding and intelligent aspects of social media. It is wonderful to share with peers, have an audience, interchange of ideas and feedback. New friends are made, of course.
    Your sketchbooks are treasures!

  2. I agree too – most social media I can do without, but not the blogging. Like you I have made many friends through it (such as you and Julie above!) and developed more cohesion in what I do. I too am a great sketchbook fan, although mine tends to be more concentrated on travel. They do add intensely to memories, and give starting points for new ideas. All your examples above are lovely, and totally identifiable as you! I am looking forward to a great year ahead, full of ideas, inspirations and experiments!

    • I just love your travel sketch books Anna, they were part of the reason why I started doing my own. They were so evocative of your trips, I wanted the same from mine. I really enjoy my travels more with a sketch book, I have great memories, interesting subject matter, something unique to share with friends and something to do when dining alone. Though I always end up in interesting conversations with people when I am drawing in public. Karen

  3. Thanks for sharing Karen, it’s very inspirational for the beginning of a new year 🙂 all the best for this year!

  4. I love your sketchbooks/journals. They look so professional and like the others I am inspired to have a go.

  5. This is so impressive and I love the work you have shared here. Karen I only recently came across your blog but I’m finding it so inspirational and I really loved hearing about your ventures with sketchbook skool. It’s funny, I never considered drawing beyond an occasional doodle for years and for some reason I wanted to sketch some of my nature finds, which turned into painting them and from there I couldn’t stop. I find it so relaxing and fulfilling. I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful art.

    • It is interesting our journeys into drawing and how each of us start drawing or doing a different style of drawing. I am so pleased you can gain some inspiration from what I do. It is nice to feel I am passing on the inspiration that I have gained from others. Karen

  6. First, thank you very much for following my blog. Second (or this probably should be first), I just love your work. It is very beautiful. I also relate to your About page and story of getting back to doing art again. Your collaboration with Anna Warren is great. Anna and I have been following each others’ blogs for a while now. You two make a perfect fit.

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