Sketchbook Party: Angie Chua, Ohn Mar Win, Helen Colebrook, and Peggy Dean

This is the last of five posts about Sketchbook Party. If you haven't already, I recommend reading the first, second, third, and fourth posts before you read this one. 


Travelers notebooks (abbreviated TN) are very popular in the scrapbook community. It turns out they're equally popular amongst artists who work in sketchbooks, although they call them travel sketchbooks. They're the same thing, and a fun topic for this class, titled "Travel Journaling for Everyone." 

I used to collect a lot of memorabilia when I traveled, then ended up using very little of it (if any) on my scrapbook pages. So now I collect as little as possible. I turn down brochures if I don't need them to navigate in a museum, I don't bring printed napkins home to do something with the logo, and I don't take the free stickers or business cards or other bits and pieces that are all over the place if you're looking for them. 

While this is good practice ecologically, it is poor practice for a class about travel sketchbooks. I gathered the four items I'd collected from our time in Milwaukee, as well as the hotel logo from our printed reservation, and put them together to make this page. The bottom left has my admission ticket from Harley-Davidson. The top right has part of the Recon Duty we did at SafeHouse (SO FUN!), the bottom right has a logo cut from the amazing Milwaukee Public Museum, and the center has a sticker from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame. I added letter stickers, striped washi, and used two colors of Flair markers to decorate. 

While my finished product is not particularly attractive or coordinated, I like the balance and had a lot of fun putting it together. There are a number of reasons why travelers notebooks / travel sketchbooks don't work for my style of memory keeping, but gosh are they fun!


Next up was "Loose Autumn Watercolor Pattern." 

Ohn Mar Win led us through a relaxing and fun session painting watercolors with what I considered to be an enormous brush. She had us intentionally paint each shape quickly, touching at least one other shape in order to have the colors bleed together.  

My artwork tends to be clean and controlled. I like crisp edges and uniformity and details. This project was the exact opposite in every way... and I loved making it! It's completely different from what I normally do, which was fun. That said, I feel like the project isn't finished. I'd like to go back in with colored pencils and add shading and details. 


The next class was "Relaxing and Beautiful Way to Fill a Blank Page." The supply list said watercolors, but I'd just done a watercolor class and decided to use Folk Art acrylic paints instead. 

It was a good decision. My paint dried in time to add the flair pen details, while others who used watercolors still had wet paint when Helen Colebrook was demonstrating the final step. 

I loved making this project; it's definitely something I'll do again. I played with a color palette I wouldn't normally pick and overall it was just a lot of fun to do. 


The final class of Sketchbook Party was by the hostess, Peggy Dean. She titled it, "A Surprise!" 

We ended up making a patterned moth. She used gouache, which I don't own. It's on my Christmas wish list, so hopefully I can play with some soon! Instead, I used acrylic paint again. 

My heart wasn't really in this project. It was fine, but not something I would necessarily do again. Although I am interested to see how it would work in gouache. 


So what did I think of Sketchbook Party overall? It was fantastic! It's unbelievable that I only paid $29 for 16 art classes. I liked some classes more than others, of course, but even the classes I liked less than others were interesting and informative. I am now following several artists that I hadn't heard of before the event, and I'm eager to dive deeper into some of the new techniques I learned. If Sketchbook Party happens again, I'll definitely be joining in!

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