To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Nature & Travel Sketch Journaling IS READY!

FINALLY! Hot off the press, friends! My latest Workshop Workbook ~ Nature & Travel Sketch Journaling is ready. I am extremely pleased with this one. It is chockablock full of good/new stuff, and I feel that it does justice to the original workshop.

Here's a giftie for ye: if you go to its page, you'll find a PDF page of decorative borders and motifs you can download to use even if you don't purchase the book.

I was thinking about this, and I realized that my fondest dream would be to have a comfortable enough income that I could GIVE these workbooks away ~ free downloads. That would please me the very most. But I can't, so there's the little freebie of decorative borders (see the image at left), at least, to please both me and you.

If you do purchase the journaling workbook, I'd love your feedback on it.

This has been a hard-working month, nose to the keyboard as April has played itself out in fits and tantrums of storms and drizzles and windy blasts interspersed with an occasional bit of cold sunshine. It was warmer and far nicer in MARCH, for pete's sake! aieeeee!

However, two of the sunny days we had chose to appear on the dates of my SwanSong Workshop. This was a Nature Sketching Basics workshop for the local Calligraphers' Guild, and had been arranged for way back in 2009, and was (and I say this with a little quaver in my virtual voice) My Last Workshop. I want to thank Cynthia for providing the lovely lettered name tags for each person, each one different, and on beautifully crafted and colored hand-made paper.

The workshop was held at a lovely Day Retreat, residence of one of the calligraphers, overlooking the valley we live in, The Rogue Valley, as it is locally called, and there was a lovely view of it from our classroom and the deck just outside. If you could see over the hill into the distant canyon, you'd see my house, (see the arrow) a few miles up the canyon from Talent (which isn't in the picture), being just off to the right.

The Calligraphers are great folks ~ I had a journaling workshop with them last year and it was a real party for us all. Since they all know each other, there's none of the hesitancy and warming up period of the usual class, and that gives it a sort of family feel. The warm, homey atmosphere of the Retreat also contributed.

Here they are, all twelve of them, hard at work on the second day. I forgot my camera the first day, which was too bad because they produced some wonderful cattail drawings (I gave them the cattails to take home ~ I won't need them again...). Even though I remembered my camera the second day, I felt so laid back I took hardly any pictures.

It was warm enough to eat our lunches out on the deck, then try sketching the shrubbery to learn various textures of leaves, small, large, pointy ~ and how just a few repetitive stroke patterns can show the different character of each kind of vegetation. You merely have to observe and determine what they are then practice using them.

In the afternoon they drew their masterpieces as I circled around behind them, pointing out places that needed attention and helping where needed. They are admiring the results above, as indeed they should.

Usually I post a gallery of the results, and their drawings were right up there with the best, but with this large class I had to spend most of what would have been my photographing time dispensing help and advice, and only had enough time for this one photo, representative of them all. Thank you, JoAnn!

The Guild presented me with a Swan Song gift, a delightful hanging twig basket Cynthia made with a large brown egg (paper-covered) in it, plus a little packet of molded paper "buttons" which you can glue onto a journal page (and which I definitely shall ~ in fact, I think perhaps I'll glue the name tag I wore onto the front of the journal, as it is so beautiful and a reminder of my "former life").

I think I will consider the nest and egg as a symbol of my post-workshop-life hatching out new possibilities (glad it's a BIG egg!). And I've had an idea: now that I'm "retired" ~ I think perhaps I shall save every penny I make on the workbooks and when I amass enough I will take sketch journies, crafting a sketch journal during each one to share with you on my return. I shall upload them onto the web and make them available to y'all as samples of Nature and Travel Sketch Journals at a Very Low Price, maybe $5.95 or something.

There are a number of good things about this. First, it will keep me lively and active and plying my craft. Secondly, it will give me an excuse and impetus to travel. Thirdly, it will give YOU new examples of sketchbooks (and maybe even intimate views of places you want to visit). Fourthly, if I charge a little bit for them I can consider the trips as necessary to my income and I can write the expenses off and not pay taxes on them. Plus, they will contribute funds toward the next Journey.

Hmmmm.....maybe I can include a tutorial in each one on how to do something that's in the journal......hmmmm......Wow! That little brown egg is really working overtime!

Okay, my NEXT project is to start uploading my already-made sketch journals for you to download if you want. This might take a couple of weeks, as with my new idea (the previous paragraph) I will have to craft a tutorial to go with it. This could be interesting!

With that.....I'm off think about the new bunch of goodies!


Elizabeth B Merriman said...

I recognize Suncrest, a very special place I would come to once a month for a retreat. Please give my love to Sister Mary Pat. She gifted me with a beautiful glass heart on my last visit.

Renie said...

Oma, you are indeed correct! It was a lovely place for a weekend workshop, as well. And Sister Mary Pat is a most gracious host (makes the BEST coffeecake I've ever tasted, too!). You must be very special to her.

Bonny said...

Just this moment downloaded my copy of your new workbook. I'm going to practise the tips and ideas around town this summer so I will be ready to use them on our trip to Ireland this Fall.

Good Luck and lots of fun, too with this new part of your life. Retirement is often bitter-sweet but you sound as if you'll have fun writing, sketching and travelling for yourself. :))

Bonny in BC

Renie said...

Ireland! Oh, what a blessing! Have a wonderful time, Bonny. I hope the workbook proves a valuable tool to make it even better.

I hope to make it to Ireland one day, too. With a name like Irene Brady, you KNOW I have roots there!


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