Monday, 16 July 2012

Sketchbook Peeks - Anne Menary

Before we start, tell us a little about yourself/how did you get into art/craft/design career and how it all started and where you are now I always wanted to go to Art College as I have always loved art and textiles. I did a degree in Embroidery then followed up with a post grad teaching course. I have worked in Adult Education ever since which I still do alongside my own artistic career.

How long have you been using sketchbooks? I have always used sketchbooks to a certain degree but a number of years ago I started developing my own way of generating ideas for my textiles through them. I always do a ‘holiday sketchbook’ (and am itching to get going later this summer!) alongside the ones I keep all the time.

How often do you sketch? Well it’s not really sketching as such though there is a fair amount of scribble. I mostly combine quick drawing and paint with paper collage.

How do you feel about the prospect of starting a new sketchbook? I love starting a new sketchbook although the first thing to do is replace the pristine white paper with a messy paint technique on the first page.

When/where do you get your inspiration for your sketchbook pages? I am inspired by things that happen around me and mix up scientific ideas with artistic developments and events in my own life and elsewhere. I like clashes of ideas and the general absurdity that arises from them.

How would you describe your creative process? I cut out snippets from the newspaper, magazines and things I want to keep such as tickets, cards, postcards etc. I arrange them on a page which I have coloured using various watercolour and scribble techniques. Then I add text, information and scribbly drawings. The pages vary between being mostly written information to a fully realised collage design. I don’t know in advance what the outcome will be.

Have your sketchbooks evolved over the years and if so, how? They have become far more integral to the textile work I do as they are where the ideas are formed. They continued evolving when I taught Creative Sketchbook courses as it is important for other people to feel they can keep sketchbooks as well.

What is your favourite medium to work with? I like using quite humble materials, especially water soluble pastels. I also like to cut up seemingly uninteresting magazines. I do think it is important to have a sketchbook with reasonably good paper such as Pink Pig, Daler-Rowney, Windsor and Newton, WH Smith Cheap sketchbooks with thin paper do not work well with watercolour.

Do you have a favourite sketchbook? At the moment it is the sketchbook I did in Italy last year because it reminds me so much of my holiday.

If you had to pick one favourite page which would it be and why? I will pick a page from the Italy sketchbook (Firenze) though I do have many favourites!

I'd like to say thanks to Anne for taking part in the Sketchbook Peeks series, I bet you've all enjoyed seeing her sketchbook pages and how the inital sketches are transformed into her lovely textile works of art. If you would like to see more of her work you can check out her website here

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