One Rose Four Times
Here is my issue with sketchbooks: I WANT THEM TO BE PERFECT. One imperfect page and I am ready to light that thing in a bonfire. I don’t know why that is the case, because if I make an error knitting, I usually just move on and don’t even rip back and fix it? And that’s something I am wearing out in public on my body, all the time! But it makes me feel CRAZY when sketchbooks go bad. My botanical sketchbook is the first time I have EVER lasted with a sketchbook for more than a month and I am kind of shocked I still enjoy working in it.
I remember my high school art teacher explaining we should make a whole bunch of mini quick drawings of our subject in our sketchbooks and then when we step back and look at them, the best layout would be immediately apparent. This is amazing advice. Seriously. It always works. And it saves you! It saves you from painting a whole freaking canvas only to find out your initial layout was wonky, uninteresting or stagnant.
I also almost never follow that advice. (facepalm)
And then take this whole last year… I picked up oil paints less than a year ago and my “style” feels like an ever shifting amorphous blob that I can’t get a handle on. Most of that has been figured out on a succession of canvasses that I am just really not sure what to do with. Canvases are big! This is not a win! How do you even throw them out? Plus, they aren’t cheap.
Anyways, the point I am leading to is that I saw someone do an oil painting in a sketchbook the other day (online) and I was intrigued. Mostly I wanted to message them and say that the oil paint takes days to dry and was going to dissolve their paper and they were dumb. But then I googled it and apparently applying gesso to a watercolour sketchbook will protect the pages so you can use oil paint on them. I’ve been mulling it over for a few days and… YES. I want in. Mostly what I want is a place to paint the same thing over and over until it’s good. And THEN paint it on canvas.
And yes, that’s exactly what sketchbooks are for. I know this. But I have never been able to practice it that way so it feels kinda radical! I am also excited to be able to do just a tiny bit of painting when I have a moment, since many days lately that’s all I get! (And since it’s February, I need all the painting I can get).
I need a tag for this sketchbook for instagram. My botanical sketchbook tag is #AmandasBotanicalSketchbook … maybe #AmandasOilSketchbook? Any other ideas that are more fun than that?
I hope you are all well! Thanks for always reading!