Sunday, January 15, 2006

2006 Goals


Members of the EDM group have been talking about art goals for 2006 and I have thought about what I wanted to do this year as well.

1. Two drawings per week (would love to move up to daily sketching- but I have yet to prove it to myself- so I will set a realistic goal).
2. Make three sketchbooks- my next sketchbook, a sketchbook just for color studies, and a sketchbook for figure sketching/painting.
3. Redesign web log- with the intent to get a Wordpress site up and going.

When I first started to pick up my sketchbook frequently again (back in 2000) I struggled with the idea of "making time". I finally found out late 2003 that if I could make my sketchbook small and light and get a sketching kit that I could take everywhere I go I could finally make the time. The time being found in the found times in between everything else in our busy life. It started to work and I not only began to improve and enjoy myself as I would hope but I found that I wanted to do more.

Soon I found like-minded people on the web and got inspired by all of the great work they were doing and found that this little sketchbook I was carrying around with me was actual a graphic journal. I have really taken strongly to this idea and found that I didn't need to create large gallery type pieces of art- my art was a take along in progress work in the form of my sketchbook.

I have enjoyed sketching but found I was disappointed in the sketchbooks available and the watercolor sketchbooks were too expensive and too large for my needs. I decided to make a sketchbook which at first became a spiral bound book of bristol paper then I quickly went to arches hot press water color paper. Then last spring I was inspired by others on the web to make my own hand stitched watercolor sketchbook. Now after 50 sketch pages later I am about to finish and begin another. This last sketchbook has already became a treasured piece that has my little children always asking to see what I've done new. The sketches and paintings of my kids have become favorites and they always look at them and talk about what I've done. I can see now it will become an important heirloom to our children and their future posterity. It could be considered art by others but now it is too precious to us as a family heirloom.

Since 2004 I have made five spiral bound sketchbooks (my first attempts) and I'm just finishing up filling my first hand stitched hardbound Fabriano 140# Hot Press sketchbook. Part of my goals this year is to make three more sketchbooks (already accomplished) - I now need to concentrate on sketching daily (eventually) without sacrificing my family, church and professional responsibilities. I have found that sketching has been an incredible boost to my sanity and helping me maintain a personal creative output (and really a more happy person as well). Whenever I have felt down and focusing on the problems at hand I have stopped sketching- I then have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and begin again- it is easy once I start but that inner critic tells my I can't and shouldn't. Sketching is truly great therapy.

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DW said...

Where did you find the instructions to make your hand stitched sketchbooks? I've been looking but I don't seem to be able to find anything that is for the do-it-yourself-er.

Puhiava said...

Well, I found one at the local library that wasn't very good but it did give one great illustration on basic stiching. It is such a obscure book that I don't think many other libraries would carry it. I basically took the time to look at online book supply stores like Talas and Hollanders to get an idea of some of the materials and subsequently bought some and I also visited The University of Utah's Book Arts Program and spoke to some of their personnel who gave me some tips and even offered classes.

I would suggest trying the same route first at your local library and even if you can't find anything (if you live in a small community like myself and don't have a great selection at the library) trying Amazon - they have lots of books as well- I couldn't offer any tips on which is best.

Also try googling "book making", "Book arts" or "making books" and you will get a ton of info and some so so tutorials.

I have to say making books (I have made five so far) has been a blast- and I find I learn something new to improve each time. I even made a journal for my son as a gift and he holds it as a priceless gift because "Daddy made it". Good luck

"Maggie" said...

Nice read and I like the goals you have set for yourself in 2006. I too find sketching boosts my sanity and sketch almost daily during my lunch hour, an relaxing escape from a stressful and very busy job. All the best in your endeavours in 2006.

Ileta said...

Hi, love your work so much. Wish I could make some handbound books too. Is there much sewing involved? Am not good at sewing. Hope you meet your two sketches a week goal! Keep it up!

Puhiava said...

Making journals by hand is actually quite easy. I have toyed around with posting a step by step of me making a journal- it usually can be done in one evening (a few hours). Thanks,