Monday, May 23, 2016

Student Sketches from Boone

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's behind-the-scenes look at my "Sketchbook Journaling Comes to Life!" workshop at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff in Boone, NC. Today I'd like to share with you some of the sketches done by my students while we were there.

After my big introduction to sketchbook journaling on Monday morning, I started them off by having them draw their art supplies...



Then they moved on to drawing something meaningful to them. One woman journaled about her wedding ring, which was made from components of the rings of several family members.


Susan sketched her mom's lunchbox. The beautiful antique metal box was challenging to draw and paint, but she persevered and did a great job of it.


Beka took a slightly different tack. She brought a buddy along to paint...


and designed a page that said "Kermey makes every 1 smile". So do you, Beka!


Look at the wonderful page layout on this sketch of a medallion/ornament from a summer in the Tetons...


Candy collects vintage buttons, so she designed a sketechbook page around them...


And Danielle drew a toy from her childhood...


We speed-sketched penny candy on day two of the workshop...




and the class illustrated some of their favorite quotes...



On Wednesday, we took a breather from journaling to spend the day working on a few step-by-step watercolor lessons. The students painted skies...


rocks...




and summer trees....



I also showed them how to add simple figures to their sketches with just a few strokes. Liz loved how easy these little people were to paint, and she created a whole little world of whacky paint people...




Thursday, we were back to sketchbook journaling again. Early in the week, I provided them with specific guidelines and instructions for their projects, but as they gained experience, I gave them more responsibility for choosing what they wanted to sketch and how they wanted to do it. I interspersed lessons throughout each day on borders, calligraphy styles and page layouts ideas, and they happily embraced it all.


I always give my students a substantial class handout, and they love it. It's reassuring to have all the information from the workshop at their fingertips, to review later whenever they like. But I have one little problem...my handouts keep getting longer and longer. The handout for this class was sixty-two pages! I think I have a book in the making! :)


It was a lot of information for them to process, and it may have felt overwhelming to them at times, but each one of them handled it with positivity and a willingness to try. I love a positive attitude!


Carollee did one of the funniest sketches of the week. It's not quite finished in this photo, but I think you can see that she collaged on a fifty dollar bill that was partially eaten by her dear sweet little angel of a dog (not!), Poppi.


Because one of the serial numbers is missing from the bill, it's worth about as much as the part that Poppi ate. What better use for it than as part of Carollee's sketchbook? Oh, Poppi......you couldn't have had a craving for a one or a five?

Check out the gorgeous fabric Annie painted in this sketch of her purse ...


One of my favorite projects of the week was when everyone illustrated one of their favorite recipes. It made me hungry just looking at all the wonderful homemade food and recipes that appeared on the students' sketchbook pages.










There was one more project that everyone worked on throughout the week. On Monday, I gave them an assignment to do a page in their journals all about their week at Cheap Joe's. The catch was that I would not be giving them a chunk of time in class to do the sketches. Instead, they had to figure out how to fit it into odd moments here and there, just like we have to do in real life!

They all turned out just great, and a few of them even included a portrait of me!

My van license plate made it into the sketch, too!


This one uses collaged images from the Cheap Joe's catalogue...


and this beautiful page by Cheryl features a nice gridded layout with a sketch of her class name tag in the center circle...


There were so many more amazing sketchbook pages. I wish I could share them all with you. It delights me to no end to see how each of these women took what I taught them, added their life experiences, originality, and humor, and created something wonderful. They all worked hard and were so earnest in their efforts during our time together, but we also had an awful lot of fun!


They've created a Facebook group to continue to support each other and "keep the magic going", as one of them said. Many of them have caught the sketching bug and are sketching and journaling every day. And they're passing it along to friends, sisters, and grandchildren.

Sketchbook journaling has touched a chord in people. In this crazy, mixed up world, we've found a way to quiet the noise and focus on what's important - to celebrate the everyday - to tell our own unique story.

The little things? The little moments?
They aren't little.
Jon Kabat-Zinn 


PS - My friends at Cheap Joe's have invited me back to teach again in 2018. I'll be doing two five-day workshops: 
May 7-11, 2018 Sketchbook Journaling Comes to Life!
August 13-17, 2018 Step-by-Step Watercolor
(Registration for these workshops won't open until January 1, 2017, but I wanted to give you a heads-up on the dates.)


21 comments:

  1. Leslie you definitely need to do a book! I'd love to be first in line to purchase it! :)

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    1. Now if I only had about 50 hours in every day instead of a measly 24, I could whip out a book in no time!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the sketches, Olga. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Leslie, I was so surprised to see my art supply page among all the wonderful pages. Thank you. You have inspired me to do borders from now on, and your journals are so beautiful. You definitely should do a book, I'd be second in line to purchase it. Thanks again, Betty Nye

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    1. You know, I didn't even notice it until I read your comment, and I'm someone who ALWAYS notices spelling errors (at least in other people's writing!) It just proves you were really, really in the zone when you did that page, and that's a good thing. At least you didn't spell "perfectly" imperfectly, like I did on that page I showed you. I guess we're human after all....

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  4. Leslie, will the content of the May wksp be the same as this one or different? I really want to take a class at Cheap Joes with you.

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    1. It will be the exact same class as the one I just completed.

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  5. Hi Leslie!
    What a great recap of one of my most favorite weeks ever! It feels like it was a dream, but I am left with your passion, your instruction, new friendships, and a renewed desire to chronicle the simple moments of my life. Your friend's quote about the mundane becoming sacred when we record it has been lodged in my brain...I'm able to look at my daily life with new eyes. I'm trying harder to find moments to get it down on paper and not be such a harsh judge of myself in the process. Your enthusiasm and openness are like a breath of fresh air-they create a space that invites the same. That, and the fact that you are just a darn good teacher made for a one-of-a-kind experience. Joe Miller and the whole staff at Cheap Joe's were the icing on the cake. I'm sure I've never felt so special and catered to in a long,long while. Ambassador indeed, my friend...Joe Miller is one smart cookie for picking you!

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    1. Your comments mean the world to me, Wendy. Knowing I can have a such a positve impact on someone makes all my hard work worthwhile. I'm glad we were able to finally meet, and thanks so much for taking care of me when I was under the weather. You're a true friend!

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  6. Leslie!!! I can't believe I missed this. I could have been there. :( So I'll see you in 2018. {Sigh.} Such a long time to wait...

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    1. I know, it is a long time to wait, but their 2017 schedule is already full. It will be worth the wait, I promise. Just be sure to sign up as soon as it's announced. This one filled up really fast and had a long waiting list.

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  7. Gosh your class looks wonderful sure wish I could of been there we need a DVD and book soon I have wanted to take your class and have not been able to do so

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    1. I have a three-day workshop coming up in August here at my home studio. It will cover much of the same material as the Cheap Joe's workshop. Click on "US Workshops" at the top of the page for more information.

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  8. A fun peek into your workshops! Have you considered printing and selling your workshop booklet "as is"?

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    1. It would have to be reformulated to include some of the examples from my sketchbooks that I show in class. Just having a list of page layouts isn't as meaningful or easily understood as seeing sample of those layouts. So I would hesitate to sell it as is. There's so much information that I add verbally in class, too, that isn't in the handout.

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  9. What a great record of our workshop experience, Leslie! Not only did you provide us with some wonderful tools to get started on or improve upon our sketchbook journey (the handout is AMAZING), but you also gave us space to use those tools to express our individual natures. I was fascinated to see how, even when we were all working from the same prompt, our sketches were all completely unique—and completely beautiful!

    You also encouraged us to grow beyond our comfort zones, whether that meant working a little more quickly in the face of screaming internal critics to sketch something spontaneous and fun or slowing down and taking time to create beautiful pages that held special meaning for us.

    And you…well, you know how I feel about you and how much your own sketchbook journey has meant to me, my friend. Thanks again to you, and to my sketchbook sisterhood, for a truly inspiring week!

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    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for those sweet words, Susan. I'm so glad the week was beneficial and fun for you.You are an excellent painter, and I hope the workshop has encouraged you to just go for it and be yourself. Everytime I use the beautiful sketchbook you gave me, I'll be thinking of you.

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  10. Hope you do write a book. I think one of your main contributions is the frame, but you also add ideas to layout.

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  11. Leslie, Your class has given me the direction to express myself creatively in just the right way. I will always be grateful for seeing your class offering on the Cheap Joe web site and taking the step to travel clear across the US to meet you! I'm still thrilled to have the new skills you taught us so well! I have two sketch books in process and have bought two more for our summer travels.
    Have a wonderful time in Italy! Anyone would be lucky to go with you and experience such a beautiful setting and learn from you! Thanks again! Julene Trigg

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    1. It warms my heart to know that I've made a difference in your life, Julene, and I'm glad that sketchbook journaling is bringing you so much pleasure. Keep on sketching!

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