Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Sketchbook Project 2012

Me with my own book. Photo: Graham White
Last year I participated in the 2012 Sketchbook Project. It took me seven months to fill my wee book before I sent it off in January this year to join thousands of other similar sketchbooks at the Brooklyn Art Library.

Then in April all these books went off on a big tour around the US and every time someone chose to look at your book you'd get an email telling you. It was quite exciting to think that my sketchbook has visited more of the United States than I have.

Now this year's Sketchbook Project tour is drawing to a close and it is currently on show at Canada Water library until next Friday.

The great thing about this is that we live quite close to Canada Water and all we had to do was take a bus to Canary Wharf and then it was one stop on the Jubilee line to Canada Water station and we were there.

They are showing all the books from Europe which meant that we could enjoy browsing through one from Norway all about trees. It was fascinating. We also spent some time looking at one that showed what it is like to travel in a hot air balloon. This was a new perspective on the world to me so this was also a chance to live vicariously through other people.

I was able to look at my own book again and reminisce and put it back in the returns box. (When I got home I had an email telling me that I had taken my own book out of the library which was slightly surreal.)

While I was working on the sketchbook I didn't like the quality of the paper in it and I found it difficult to handle. It was good for me to see how other artists had got round this issue. The trick is to use the pages as a backing for better quality paper, fabric or whatever and then rebind the book. So that's my 'note to self' if I join in this project again in 2014 - rebind it and then I'll probably have more fun.

I'm going to keep my Official Library Card from the Brooklyn Art Library and when I finally visit New York I will take some time out to browse through some more sketchbooks and see what other artists have been up to.

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