February 28, 2010

Chicken Scratch Sketchbooks

The title's great, the examples many. Permission to peek inside sketchbooks of current and historical artists and sketchers.

February 16, 2010

Not your plain old envelope

When I was last in Paris a couple of years ago I came upon a postal museum I just loved and enjoyed so much. A digital wall of postal history with plenty of cool graphics, videos, no matter that it was in French, it was so visual I got it all. Room after room of postage pizzaz. Mail art abounded. And in the bookstore, was a book I wanted - but it was near the end of the trip, I'd already spent too much, and it was heavy and I was already worried about the $50.00 limit, so I passed. It was an entire book on mail art and envelopes that had been collected over the years. Zowie, it was fun. I wrote down the publisher and authors and today, when going through my Europe memories (a diversionary tactic to keep me from doing what I should be) I found those notes. I searched for them on the web and voila! they have a whole site with samples of mail art all over the place - pages and pages. I translated the site, but really wouldn't have had to. Couldn't find the book, but that's okay. I'm glad I know about the site. Check it out if you love mail art!  Pierre and Stephane Proust
P.S. If you're traveling to Paris soon, it's the Musée de La Poste in the 15th arrondisement, 34 boulevard de Vaugirard. It's really cool!

February 15, 2010

I just found One Mile from Home - a daily sketch of scenes within one mile from the home of the artist, Julie Oakley. Last entry, for the last day, is her starting point - a cool colored sketch of her home.

From her blog, linked above:  In April 2006 I set the challenge ‘Walk a minimum of one mile from home. Record where you’ve been with a drawing, sculpture, photo or painting and then walk back. Every day for a year.’ To my great delightAlison and Penny in Australia (amongst others who eventually dropped by the wayside) joined me. Each day our lives touched at our daily posts, sometimes observing the same things and sometimes showing each other the uniqueness of our own environments.

Update  2013:  Be sure to catch her sketchblog in full. She has an active blog for her work other than this project. 
Why don't I go on the ferry more often? Daytrips to Bainbridge, Vashon? Each time I do I enjoy the ride and the destination. I need a job that gives me back my weekends.

Taking a walk around Port Angeles on a dreary Sunday morning, I came upon a local bookstore open at 9:00! Wow, I love surprises like that. And to further the surprise, I found there a book I had no previous knowledge about that I just love. It's called When Wanderers Cease to Roam (A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put) by Vivian Swift.

I guess it's been around for awhile, since it's got 23 good reviews on Amazon (and one from a reader who felt this memoir was too much all about the author - which is, I must protest, a function of the memoir genre, yes? and, may I say, it's very much about her surroundings and landscapes, not her pathos - but I digress, each to her own!) I was very happy to give the full $20.00 to this independent bookstore, whose ultimate demise I already should probably mourn along with all the others of its wonderful kind...

It's an illustrated journal that captures the seasons beautifully. She uses line drawings and watercolor interspersed with daily observations, memories of her travels to lots of places before she "stayed put" on Long Island Sound. Everything is in her own printing. To quote the cover end piece, she spent a decade "quietly taking stock of her life, her immediate surroundings, and, finally, what it means to call a place home." It's humorous, reflective, and inspirational. Let me at my journal!
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