Saturday 5 March 2016

February Sketchbook Challenge - what did I learn?

I have blogged weekly about the contents of my sketchbook for the Sketchbook challenge.  You can see the results here: week 1week 2week 3week 4

These are the pages I did on the last two days.

Day 28
A collage of painted papers, a photograph, a picture from a magazine, map paper and book paper.

Day 29
Two small collages with more of a textile feel.

So what have I learned from the 29 days?
1. That it's a good idea to work for a short time every day.   It gets the creative juices going.

2.  That I really enjoyed working with a muted and small colour range.   These are my favourite pages.

3. That I still haven't found my 'voice'.   I may have found the colours to work in but not the work that I want to do.

4. I started the monthly challenge wanting to do something with seedheads but soon found that the leaf stencil dominated.  I also found that I don't really want to work with seedheads.  There's some beautiful work out there from various artists and I was influenced by their work to a certain extent but I need to find my own style and subject.

On Tuesday night I went to a talk by Amanda Hislop and she does some amazing work.  She works with a very limited and muted colour palette on landscapes, seascapes and seedheads - particularly cow parsley.   She showed how she works from her initial idea through her sketchbook to the finished piece.  The sketchbooks were amazing (works of art in themselves) and that led me to my fifth learning point.

5. I've known this a long time but sometimes you need to see it to get it: you have to put effort into it!  Amanda's sketchbooks were full of drawings and experiments.  Sometimes a drawing was only minimally different from the previous drawing.  Her finished pieces were excellent due to the amount of preparation work she had done in her sketchbooks.

So where does that leave me?
I've no idea to be honest but I shall spend time thinking about it and continuing with what I do now until I can really get to grips with the things I've learned.

What have you learned recently about your creative way of working?

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Great post Bernice. I have really enjoyed seeing these pages develop and I love how you share your process. These are lovely pages and it is interesting how we struggle to develop our own style when some people seem to just find it - but perhaps that only comes from so much practice and experimentation. It certainly sounds like Amanda Hislop puts lots of energy and time into her sketch books and final work.
    I think it is good to be inspired by other peoples work and to be pushed outside our comfort zone, or try something we wouldn't otherwise do. For me, my 'creativity' comes from feeling constrained and working inside my head (using other peoples ideas, following plans) but then switching into free style and just playing. I can feel the change. I've not yet found my own style either and think it is partly because I am so diverse and interested in so many things. If I could just focus on one area I might have more time and opportunity to develop my style, but like you I will carry on playing and learning from others because this feeds my soul and I love meeting other creatives.

  2. I love these Bernice!! Well done!!


I would love you to leave me an encouraging comment. Don't forget to put your name. I love to know who is commenting. Thank you.