In the Studio

A Sketch-y Discovery

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It’s good to be back. I disappeared from my blog for most of March because I went away to wear my corporate hat. I conduct communication training for companies and organizations. Which, if you think about it, ties in nicely with my art because it’s all communication. But training workshops take a lot of focus and two workshops a day for two weeks means not much time for anything else. 

However, I always try to feel connected to the “artsy” part of me so I packed Micron pens and my Winsor Newton travel palette. They travel well and let me work on ink and watercolour sketches in small windows of time. Small pieces are fun plus I love the energy of the lines and colour and letting that colour mingle and bleed over the edges. Playing with all of those elements felt light and joyful. 

I was pleased with most of them and posted each day on social media to maintain some consistency and connection. I didn’t want to completely disappear. The algorithms don’t like that.

What happened next took me by surprise. These little illustrations received a lot of positive feedback. New people liked and commented and my followers grew. Then, when I returned home, the in-person feedback was just as positive. People were telling me how much they enjoyed my new style. It touched a chord in others (and in me.)

I’ve been looking for “my thing” for quite a while. “What do I do that makes my work recognizable and my own?” Up to this point, my paintings felt kind of vanilla to me and I wasn’t sure if I even had a style.

Then, just like that, it seems I do.

I even have a commission to do some illustrations for a gardening book. Very exciting!

It doesn’t mean I won’t work on large paintings that take more time and finesse. I enjoy the challenge and sense of accomplishment they provide. It’s just that I find so much joy and connection in the sketch-y ink and watercolour work. Like I said, the energy of the pen work and colouring outside the lines makes me feel like a kid again. I also like that they are smaller so can be done quickly.

On busy days, I can do at least one and definitely more on days when time isn’t an issue. That makes owning a piece of original work accessible to anyone because they won’t be expensive.

I’ve already got plans for note cards and a calendar in this new style so stay tuned. I’m also thinking about reproducing them as small pieces of fibre art – quilted or felted. 

Below is a gallery of the sketches I did while I was away. I’d love to hear what you think of them. 

Like I said, it’s good to be back. 

4 thoughts on “A Sketch-y Discovery”

  1. Lovely sketches Aprille. Your line ‘colouring outside those lines makes me feel like a kid again’ in your email made me realize that I need to push myself to begin colouring outside the life agin, as far as life is concerned! Helen

  2. Couldn’t figure out why most outside the lines art work appeals to me, but part of it I think is it gives a glow – sometimes within/sometimes outside – what the lines formed. An aura. Esp liked the lamppost, the Ukrainian floral, and the BW sailing pics ❤️

    1. Thanks so much. There is something about that “outside the lines” that appeals to me. I agree about how it creates something bigger – that aura.

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