Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Sketchbook Project with artist Nancy Laliberte

A couple of months ago I signed up to be a part of The Sketchbook Project. For those not familiar with it, it is a traveling exhibition of handmade books. Anyone from around the world can participate--you don't even have to be an artist. This summer my book will be hitting the road on the midwest mobile library tour which will include stops in Chicago, IL; Madison, WI; and Minneapolis, MN. I will keep you posted on the dates as it gets closer to the tour. I can't wait to see the incredible books participants have created! 

It has been a fun project as I LOVE creative journaling. In this post I am featuring several pages from my book which is now at the Brooklyn Art Library. (They just emailed me today. Thank you USPS.) More pages will be featured over the next couple of posts including some step-by-step processes of a couple of pages. Some pages were created as spreads and some stand alone. All are a direct, intuitive, and creative response to what was going on in my life--inside and out--at that moment in time. 

Viewing...from the Heart

© Nancy Laliberte

We'll start in "reader's spreads" at the beginning, but this was not the first set of pages I created. I left the inside cover and first page blank until I had something I wanted to say that would set the tone for the rest of the book. In the end, the inside cover page was set up for practicality purposes--handling of the book, and securing the cover art. 

These two pages were done on different days, before starting my regular studio painting practice. Typically, I dig through my mixed media materials and pull out ephemera and paint colors that "speak" to me at that moment. One thing leads to another and a page is completed. 
This spread incorporates many layers and materials. The first which included using leftover paint from another project, then stenciling, adding bits of hand-painted collage paper, more paint, ink, and ephemera. Sometimes the text may be a phrase or song stuck in my head, other times the text comes later as the imagery falls into place. All intuitively driven. 

When I first started working in my sketchbook, I randomly opened pages and added whatever paint was left on my palette or painted on a color that I don't typically use--a good way to experiment with color in a fun, carefree way. This page is an example of that. I had also just treated myself to a new checkerboard stencil and used that as a starting point, and then added the chevron washi tape for no other reason than, "hey, a roll of washi tape I haven't used yet..." A few days later I came back to this page and began drawing with my favorite pentel pocket brush pen, added some paint, a stamp, a bit of text, and my daily journaling fix is satisfied. 
Loving the pocket brush pen! It makes beautiful calligraphic marks depending on now fast and how much pressure you apply. I was watching a Green Bay Packer game (they won!) during this page, hence the green and gold color inspiration. Other materials used were watercolors and inktense pencils. All fun stuff! More pages to come in my next post...

Curious to give this a try, but don't know where to start?
Don't be shy, come join the sketchbook movement! I will be teaching a mini-workshop, "Creative Journaling for Busy People" at the Center for Visual Arts in Wausau, WI. Two dates are being offered (same workshop, feel free to repeat). The first is this Thursday, January 23, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and the second one is Saturday, February 1, from 12 noon to 4:00 pm. Cost is $50 + $8 material fee. Just bring a 9 x 12 sketchbook preferably with 90 lb. paper or more, all of your other materials are included making it super easy for you to show up and have fun! Register with the CVA at 815-842-4545. More information is on their website and mine. See you there!


Go With the Flow said...

Thanks for sharing this Nancy! I did sign up to do this project and put it on hold. Well it is now "after" the holidays and I am pumped up to explore this adventure! YOU are a TRUE INSPIRATION!!! Love your work<3

Deb Wolf

Nancy Laliberte said...

Thank you, Deb, for your kind words. Yes, don't delay any longer, just dive in and start creating! I know you will have a blast and will create some amazing pages!