Year one of my Sketchbook project - looking back and looking ahead

 A selection of pages from the sketchbooks I filled in 2015.

A selection of pages from the sketchbooks I filled in 2015.

On a whim the morning of New Year's day, I made a resolution to work in my sketchbook for at least half an hour every day and post all my sketches on Instagram. I could not have imagined where this project would take me. I have filled a number of sketchbooks, seen a huge improvement in my work, and have often found myself using my sketches for larger, more developed work. I work on my sketchbook first thing in the morning, and it has become as necessary to my studio time as the warm up before an exercise routine. I can't imagine getting started on my more "serious" work without first enjoying a little sketchbook play to loosen up and wake up the creative side of my mind. Over the course of the year, I was surprised at how many times my sketchbook work informed and inspired my more developed paintings and illustrations.

 A mother and daughter walking home on the first day of school. September 2015.

A mother and daughter walking home on the first day of school. September 2015.

As I look forward to 2016, I plan to continue this project and elaborate on it. I recently participated in the Four Corners Art Collective Advent Calendar Art Challenge. Each day in December had a different prompt, all with winter holiday themes. Again, I had joined in on a whim, because I was not feeling the holiday spirit, and as the mom of two boys, I needed to start feeling festive, FAST! Even though I did not do every single prompt, (a sick child and holiday family visits slowed me down) I had a great time with this project and plan to develop some of my sketches into holiday greeting card and wrapping paper designs. Working on a single theme throughout the month was an intriguing challenge. Some days, I was just not in the mood for holiday images, but I sat with it a while to find something in the prompt that got me excited. And I did find it, every single time.  

 Dove December 2015 sketchbook page done as part of the Four Corners Art Collective Advent Calendar art challenge.

Dove December 2015 sketchbook page done as part of the Four Corners Art Collective Advent Calendar art challenge.

I will be honest, over the course of the year, I missed some days, mostly over the weekends. In the upcoming year, I plan to remedy that, because my sketchbook has become such an integral part of my work. I have seen so much growth with my gouache painting, I'm planning to do something similar with my acrylics, but I have not yet worked out the details on that project. Stay tuned to my Instagram and Facebook accounts to follow along and see what I'm working on!

 Vintage shoes sketchbook page from November 2015.

Vintage shoes sketchbook page from November 2015.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year filled with art and fun!