Sunday, 17 July 2011

Start of a new sketchbook

first page - in progress - in my new sketchbook
Yesterday, on a shopping trip into town, a made a self-indulgent purchase - a treat to myself after a hard week editing other people's magazine copy. It wasn't expensive, but felt good in my hand; an 8"x6" (A5) sea-blue sketchbook with pages of 110gsm paper. A new travel journal in which it would be easier to draw and paint. And I've already titled it 'Another Day, Another Journey'. The book itself has such a lovely feel to it, encased in its own soft plastic folder, with pockets front and back to hold word-whispers or other scrappy notes.

sometimes the feel of a book
can spark ideas for new
projects - this one did for me
I opened the cover and wrote the title inside. I deliberated on how to start, wondered whether I should sketch straight away; but it was late, and the muse did not flow, though I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a map! I wrote accompanying words on one of the jotters I have littered around the house for just such a purpose, stashed it in the book's pocket ready for later hand-lettering, then decided that collage would be a good beginning. So I took a printed portion of a map I had just photographed (badly - see below), sketched a shape and tore around what I wanted ... and there I was, ready to begin another journey into creativity.

badly photographed, but it gave me an idea for the image I wanted
The start of this first foray was this map, and the shape I tore out opens this post (that has its own title, too): 'Journey in My Head', which was prompted by something I had just written in my Book-Lover's Blog. Anyway, everything came together; one of my serendipity moments. The map was printed on my favourite collage paper - it is very thin but tough and I use it all the time in textile projects as it can be fused with bond-a-web / wunder-under and stitched as well. It's how I make my own version of fabric paper, quite often creating a design from collage or photography which I then print as many times as I wish. The paper is bought in pads: Daler-Rowney Layout Paper; only 45gsm (31lbs) and obtainable in good art shops or online in both A4 and A3 sizes.

My journey has begun; my art-bag is ready, and as we head north with the caravan to the RHS Tatton Flower Show, the spreads will continue - mapping and sketching rather than collage, or maybe that as well; who can tell? Progress Report to follow!

P.S. I think the cover of these layout pads has changed recently, but the paper is still the same.


  1. Nothing like a new journal. Good tip on the paper I'm going to see if we can get it here.

  2. Would not have thought of cutting shapes out of maps - brilliant! New journals are wonderful, all that lovely potential!