Good morning everyone!  I’ve written about Sketchbook Revival before. It is a free two week set of classes by different artists, organized by Karen Abend. I discovered it through another rug hooking artist’s blog. I can’t remember whose it was, but I want to say a deep heartfelt thank-you to them.

Sketchbooks are the foundation of any art practice, and that includes textile arts such as rug hooking. It’s where we experiment and explore new ideas. They are foundational for developing your own style.  I cannot emphasize enough that if you want to develop your own style, buy a sketchbook and use it!

That was my big mistake when I started out. I viewed rug hooking as craft, not art. I rarely used my sketchbook and relied too much on other people’s work as a basis for my own. Don’t do that!  I learned the hard way that rug hooking is an art form, a textile art.

I eventually did learn to use my sketchbook more, thanks to Deanne Fitzpatrick’s online courses from 2012-2014.  Thank-you Deanne!  However recently I’m noticing I stop using it when I feel I have “enough” rug designs to keep me busy for years.

But I miss sketching. I decided I don’t need to keep a sketchbook just for rug hooking ideas.  I can keep one, just because.  Sketching in all forms is not only good for idea development. It can also be done just for pleasure.

So when I read about Sketchbook Revival I was ready to do something. I signed up for the two week program which runs the last two weeks of March. However, I had a busy two weeks otherwise and did not get around to the workshops much.

Thankfully Karen Abend has set it up so it’s easy to access and you can go at your own pace. Each day you receive an email with the links to two videos in it. Each video is by a different artist and is a different project. The idea is to get people to use their various art supplies. Each video also has a materials list and title and brief bio on the artist teaching in it.

Karen keeps the videos accessible for two weeks after the last class. Thank-you so much Karen!  I am racing to finish them now. So far I am halfway through the workshops. I am learning a lot, and using tools and techniques I’ve never used before.

So without further ado, here is a peek into my sketchbook for the first half of Sketchbook Revival. Bear in mind the goal in these classes is not finished pieces ready for framing, but rather, pieces for learning to use new tools, techniques, and ideas.

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