Last Pages of the Old Sketchbook

Last page self portrait. Ink & watercolor

Last page self portrait. Ink & watercolor, drawn from life

In Louise Stanley‘s “Rules for Keeping a Sketchbook,” her rule number two  is “Start on the third page to get your courage up.” Number three is “Go back to the first page and do a self-portrait when you’ve got the nerve.” At her exhibit it was great seeing some of her (often comical) self-portraits from journals spanning decades.

For my own journals, I preferred the idea of making the last page a self-portrait instead. That way it still creates  a record of the YOU that put all that stuff in the journal, but it’s not there staring back at you every time you open the book. So this is my self-portrait on the last page of the Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.

BART Riders, ink and watercolor

BART Riders, ink and watercolor

And this is the second to last page. Just a couple of subway riders with a bit of watercolor added later. I’m about a quarter of the way into the new journal I bound myself and am really loving it. My next posts will be from that journal.

And now it’s Friday night and what has felt like a very long, exhausting work week is finally over and I get to transition back to my art life. But that will be tomorrow. Tonight I’m just interested in a good night’s sleep.

Sketching at the Louise Stanley Journals Exhibit

Sketching Lulu's Display, ink & gouache

Sketching Lulu's Display, ink & gouache

We began last Tuesday night’s sketchcrawl at Louise Stanley‘s journal exhibit at the California College of Art in Oakland. Lulu’s paintings and sketches are amazing. She combines classical subjects and a great sense of humor with images of modern women on a grand scale in her paintings and in brilliant ink and goauche in her handbound journals. If nothing else, visit her website to read her bio for a peek into her studio and funny writing, and be sure to check out “Lulu’s Rules for Sketchbooks.”

Her journals are full of travel sketches, copies of  museum paintings, and lists of things like pen preference rankings, and titles for paintings. I loved the list “Paintings that Matter” that included titles like ‘When Hell Freezes Over,’ ‘Routine Inspection,’ ‘Unintended Consequences,’ ‘Road to Ruin’ and ‘Dressing the Turkey.” The show at CCA will be up through March 5 and on February. She will also give a talk at the Berkeley Art Center on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.

Next we headed down College Avenue for more sketching.

Dinner at Cactus Taqueria, ink & watercolor

Dinner at Cactus Taqueria, ink & watercolor

It was nearly 8:00 p.m. and I was hungry,  having skipped dinner, so I voted to sketch indoors at Cactus Taqueria. After eating (and sketching) some black beans, grilled veges and a tiny salad I made at the salsa bar from their coleslaw salsa (?!), I was ready to tackle the cactus (well, on paper anyway) that sat on a shelf above my table.

Cactus Basket, ink & watercolor

Cactus Basket, ink & watercolor

Then it was back out to College Avenue where we were both inspired by the display at Annie’s Vintage Rack.

Annie's Vintage, ink & watercolor

Annie's Vintage, ink & watercolor

Cathy liked the old suitcases and I liked the old clothes. I probably should have skipped that unfortunately placed sign that seems to be projecting from the skirt. I think it was supposed to look like a megaphone and said “Back to School Sale” on it (though it was just as nearly unreadable as in the sketch).

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