This is the single filled sketchbook I keep in my studio go-bag. At least that's where it lives when I don't have it out as a reference source for whatever reason. It's my favorite size of 8 x 8. I made it using a super-simplified bookmaking technique taught by Mary Ann Moss in her Sketchbookery class. The method works so well for me that I've been using it ever since.
For about a week this journal was meant to be a colorist exploration of the designer gouache I received as a holiday gift. But then I heard about Wendy Brightbill's 30 day creative challenge that ran as a free offering of her creative spirit throughout January of this year. I've taken a number of online painting and collage classes with Wendy and find her to be a very inspiring teacher. Each day of the challenge she presented participants with a pair of videos. One featured her speaking in an inspiring way. Throughout the month she covered a variety of themes integral to maintaining a daily creative practice. The second video contained process/technique details to match the prompt of the day.
While watching the very first video I impulsively grabbed this volume and repurposed it. On crisp New Year's instinct I knew this was going to be a process I'd want to preserve in a cohesive and structurally sound way. Indeed, by the end of the challenge I'd amassed a cohesively strong collection of seed-stage ideas that can be expanded whenever and however I'm moved to explore ... whatever. By assigning a full spread to each prompt I created a working field of 16 x 8. I quickly found I like working on this scale just as much as I like working within 8 x 8 parameters. I also appreciated that the book signatures were made from high quality water color paper scraps and leftovers. The quality allowed me a reliable substrate that didn't bleed. The scrap status allowed me to feel creatively resourceful and unrestrained for an average time investment of 20 minutes a day. This book holds a valuable record of what happens when I show up for myself - on several days, for even half that amount of time - in order to create in a purely joyful and spontaneous manner.
Above a shaman "older than dirt" awakes from a nightmare in which he finds himself unable to Save The World. This is the lower left hand corner of the Layers prompt spread. It's an example of the handful of occasions when I had the luxury of moving slowly and with a leisurely sense of time management. I worked on this one off and on throughout a sunny January day in which I was studio-puttering. Greatly enjoyed the experience of grounding my time alone & away from family/domestic responsibilities via periodically returning to the work desk to add a new layer of paint or ink.
Above two dogs seek shelter and comfort from each other during the Camp fire. The prompt of the day was color background. I had a newly purchased tube of rose madder acrylic paint. Thought it would be a far darker/more oxidized color based on paint chips. When I saw this much lighter and intensely red color my brain went straight to those dogs. I imagined a fragment of their story through inky line drawings with a dip pen; sometimes feathering or widening the lines with a 1/4" one stroke brush.
Above a recurring dream motif from last winter was detailed within the mark making prompt spread. Used another new tube of paint but this color was a dependable old favorite rather than a startling surprise.