Why do you Journal?

Cathy Johnson‘s Artist’s Journal Workshop makes you think about why you journal and what you hope for through this practice. It also presents the work of many inspiring journalers.
cathy_johnosn_book.jpgI totally agree with this quote from Cathy: Seeing and capturing things on the pages of a journal rescues them from the mundane.

When there’s cold rain and grey skies and most of all when the days are short, I’m happy with yet another warm coffee and a sketch. I’ll sometimes sketch at Creama on the Alameda while I wait for my Etsy prints to be done.


Or I’ll draw Babe the Muffler Man at 808, The Alameda.

This sketch is my only one from Thanksgiving weekend. And no, they’re not holding phones, they’re playing a card game called Crazy Eights. I used two water brushes for this piece: One with black ink, and the other with a dilute version of that same ink. Pack along a small sketchbook and this minimal kit can go almost anywhere.

Coming back to Cathy’s question, what do I hope to get from my sketch journals? Here are the first few things that come to mind:

I’d like my sketch journal to be
• Imperfect and freeing.
• A record of little bits of my day.
• A way to draw even on the busiest of days: I may not fill a page, but I can chip away at it over the day.
• A place to experiment with techniques and media and to find new and fresh ways to look at the same thing over and over.
• And always, a place to use observation and study to improve my drawing skills.

I’m teaching an 8-week journaling workshop starting in January 2019, and we will focus on a strong foundation in observation and drawing. The rest, style and content, you have that bit down already!

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in california, Close to home, Everyday Sketches, san jose, Sketch Journal, Vintage Signs, watercolor, Workshop and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Why do you Journal?

  1. Nancy Waldron says:

    Hi Suhita. Would love to take your 8 week course, but will be impossible because I live so far away. I’m sure it will be a wonderful course. Congratulations and have fun teaching.


  2. cathykatejohnson says:

    This made me smile so big…thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mayela Lameda-Lyver says:

    Great minds think alike. I just finished reading Cathy Johnson “The artist’s Journal Worshop” and have made similar notes to yours on my sketchbook including the Derwent Blue gray Watercolor pencil. A question, what sketchbook were you using at the Creama Alameda? Pages look bright white.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That book is the same one I usually use, the Stillman and Birn Alpha softcover journal. It is bright white, ( not ivory) but not super-bright: I think it might just be that photograph that makes it look super white.


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