Thursday, 9 January 2014

Patiently exploring sketchbooks



As part of being patient - which is already proving to be a challenge I must admit - I'm giving myself time to explore what inspires me before I leap headlong into splashing my paints around or gathering up my sketchbook and heading out for a day of quiet sketching. I feel this is something which will help me to explore what I like about my work and why and to try to find some common themes throughout the time I've been sketching.

I've been looking back through my sketchbooks this afternoon. I've kept them sporadically since GCSE Art. None though through university, where I was so caught up with enjoying myself and studying Pharmacy, that I think I even forgot I could be creative!! Sketchbook practice started again when I started work and met Steve and we were settling down and starting our life together. I found a charcoal sketch I did of him dated 1994, which gave me a reality check when I realised it was 20 years ago and not ten as I had first thought!! When I say sketchbook practice I say it very casually, it wasn't even really a practice, as that infers that it was something I did on a regular basis. In fact I didn't sketch very often at all through my twenties, I was far too busy living my life, working hard to save up for our hop onto the property ladder, getting married and our year out travelling. 

Fast forward about five years.... My sketchbook habits soon changed when I decided to study Art and Design at foundation level way back in 2005, and since then I've been slowly building my sketchbook collection, all shapes and sizes, and with all manner of content. Some I love, some I hate, but I'm keeping them all to remind me of my journey.

This afternoon I decided I would photograph some of my favourite pages, so that some of you who known me only for my black and white work, get a glimpse into other styles I have experimented with in the past before I started to concentrate on my intricate illustrations and my intense relationship with black ink pens!!

So here they are, some of my favourite pages, colours, textures, subject matter and layouts from the Sue Bulmer sketchbook collection....



























So there you have it, a wander though some of my favourite sketchbook pages, now I just need to sit down and explore the reasons why they are my favourites, what is it I like about them so much and why have I chose them?

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this Sue. I have a love hate relationship with my own sketchbooks and it is always good and reassuring to have a peek inside others. Some fabulous pages!

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    1. You're very welcome Gina. I really enjoyed flicking thru to find my favourite pages. I know what you mean about live hate relationship, in some I didn't have any pages I liked and some I had a difficult decision to choose one, I think that's just the way it goes sometimes

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  2. Love all these pages Sue - it is so clear your love of nature and landscape - it really comes across here. I must revisit some of my old books too! It is so interesting to see a development of aesthetic and ideas over time and common themes that keep re-occurring.

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    1. Thanks Gillian, I'm glad you can see themes in these pages, I sometime struggle to.

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  3. Beautiful landscapes - my own sketchbooks seem to be full of words at the moment! Stephie @ www.narrativeself.com

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