Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Sketchbooks

Any artist worth their salt earns their bones filling a gazillion sketchbooks with doodles

I made these when I was in my bookbinding phase.
sketchbooks are one of the best sources when you're considering starting a sketchbook. It's both a diary + sketchbook, drawn and written daily records of his Moroccan travels.
I've always treasured this picture of JMW Turner's leather bound sketchbook. Many of his sketches can be seen in the Tate's Turnercollection in London, where Turner donated much of his artwork.  Closer at hand is the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT. You can actually touch a Turner sketchbook.

Make an appointment first
A Turneresque page from my own sketchbook

Multi-doodles done while doing an artists residency in Poppi, Tuscany  
I love to put down blobs of color and then create a little scene on top

Sketchbooks provide the chance to make quick summaries of what you see like a quick camera snapshot. Spontaneous notation is what it's all about. Often preparatory sketches are more personal, more interesting than the final finished painting.
More color blobs + grape picker doodles  
Chateau doodles. The thing about sketchbooks is they are private.
You can be as casual and messy and experimental as you like.No ones going to see what you do...
Well almost no one
Some of the sketchbook paraphrenalia you can "collect" in the name of sketching! There are endless art supplies out there waiting to tempt you and every bit as luscious as any pastry.


  1. Wow! You must be one salty person! And beautiful, too!

  2. Gasp!
    Love this post- your sketches are awesome. Makes me feel a bit closer to you :)
    Thanks for sharing!
    Eat Cake

  3. You had me with the bound sketchbooks! Don't think you know I make marbled papers! These are jewels! I also loved the links at the bottom-gondolier studies and Bologna made me want to catch a plane.

  4. Hi;
    Part of my studies took me to Liège in Belgium where we stayed with a family for 3 months. The father is an architect/artist; this is the link to his sketchbook which i like to share when the subject of sketching comes up. He is part of a group called Urban Sketchers.

    1. parisbreakfast2:16 PM

      That's a BIG group of sketchers Cbaach
      No way could I find your artist friend there without a name

    2. oops i forgot to paste this

    3. I know his work!
      Wonderful - he's a contact

  5. You had a very productive bookbinding period!!! I've been making my own sketchbooks one at a time...and I swear I'm going to start using commercial books because it takes so darn long and I'm not very proficient...but I just made a new one because I had an inspiration I wanted to sketchbook, COMMERCIAL!

    1. parisbreakfast2:18 PM

      Ah...yes my hand-made sketchbook period...
      I made them fast because I'm impatient and sloppy...lots of classes in New York at the NY Bookbinding school on 21st street.
      You should come visit!

  6. They're wonderful! I am in awe of your talent!

  7. Beautiful, Carol! Publish!

  8. Do you sketch right on watercolor paper? Or is there a less expensive way I don't know about?

  9. Oh may I Pin Away:) I love every image Carol~Just to have and to see:)

  10. Beautiful sketches, Carol - and so many today!

  11. I love your blog today!
    I have always loved Delacroix's sketchbooks and I was in heaven when I saw Turner's at the Tate.
    So personal and lovely,like seeing inside the artist's mind.
    Your journals are beautiful.
    I,too,bind journals occasionally but they do not look as great as yours. Maybe it's that luscious marble paper?

  12. This is a gorgeous post!! I LOVE your sketches xx
    Thank you for including the other links. Will look at all of them over the weekend.

    AM obsessed with sketchbooks and often prefer them to the finished piece xx

  13. Carol, this post is so very dear to my own love of sketchbooks, studies, and ... the unlimited abundance of artist materials waiting out there to inspire us.

    Thank you for the peeks at your own sketchbooks.

    The Tate's Turner collection is rather amazing, and I love the way that the museum rotates it for us mere mortals to view.


  14. Great one today!

  15. One of my favorite posts of yours, so far, meraviglioso!
    Merci for sharing your treasures with us. :-)

  16. Art Supplies & Sketchbooks, now those are my kind of pastries! In David's class, I fell in love with some of the thumbnails I saw. The spontaneity is what I love! Love your sketchbooks, & also those of Delacroix (visited his studio on Rue de Furstenberg & it was the watercolors & sketches that I loved, verses the big paintings. "Multi-doodles" & "blobs", you sketch great words too!!

  17. What a marvelous treat this post is!

  18. How wonderful to be able to see inside some of your sketchbooks, & bound by yourself. You have such an abundance of talents. I'm off to start my first blobbing in my sketch book !


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