For the first time I had a sketchbook project without a theme. When I signed up the themes were very generic such as “sketchbook,” “chap book,” or “travelogue”. I assumed “sketchbook” would be the most fitting, but since it was an option, I chose, “undecided” so I could decide later. Before I sent off my book, I noticed that they added several more options for themes that were more like the themes they’ve offered in the past. Some of these are “dwellings,” “creatures,” and “lists”. Of the options offered, “diagrams” felt like it would fit the most as an after-the-fact choice, but it also didn’t feel quite right. I wonder if they’ll let me keep it as undecided?
As with the Sketchbook Project Limited Edition that I completed in 24 hours, I was down to just a couple of days until the deadline before I had a chance to start my 2013 submission. As luck would have it, I decided to use block printing as my technique for January’s daily patterns, so the choice to use the same stamps in the sketchbook was an easy one! This technique was even faster than the collages I created for the Sketchbook Project LE, and over the course of 2 days, I leisurely filled my empty book with lots of color, pattern and texture.
The cover was created bit by bit as I worked with various colors on the main pages of the book. I feel lucky that the composition turned out as balanced as it did!
The inside front and back covers were embellished with paint marker since I didn’t have time to carve stamps with all the letters or words I would have needed!
The inside back cover shares a hint of things to come. Notice I direct people to check out anikastarmer.com. There isn’t actually anything there at the moment, but there will be! More news to come about that soon!
Most of the pages feature several colors and two or three different stamps, with printing on both sides of the spread. Often I printed the stamps quickly and then smooshed the pages together to make secondary impressions on the opposite page. Sometimes those secondary marks were pretty subtle, but they lend another layer of texture to the overall composition.
A few pages seemed “just right” after I finished up using one stamp with one color.
There was really only one spread that I felt was a little less than successful, and yet it is also one of my favorites in some ways!
I really love the way the pattern on the right of the stacked triangles turned out, and the bolder yellow print on the left would have been a good fit as its pair, but oh how I wish I hadn’t smooshed the wet yellow paint onto the triangles. The yellow smudges are a visual distraction that muddies up the bright pattern, and it would have been stronger without that extra element. That said, I recognize that this entire sketchbook really was a collection of printed sketches and experiments, and although in my mind this isn’t exactly “perfect” I can still appreciate it for the overall experience!
Take a look at the video of the entire book, with a little explanation of my process and some of the stamps!
Art House Co-op is restructuring the way they are going to do the next installations of the Sketchbook Project, focusing on specific tours with a certain number of spots available for each. I’m not sure if I will participate again or not. Maybe if a tour title “speaks to me” or something.
Have you participated in this or other Sketchbook Projects? Do you think you’ll participate in the future? If you have your 2013 book online, I would love for you to share a link in the comments!