Category Archives: Sketchbook

Sketchbook March + Plus

Recently I had to move out of my studio. While doing so I found two sketchbooks that I had started, but never finished. Determined to not let the pages go to waste, I began filling the back half of the sketchbook(s). Shared here is one of the two books.

In the beginning I found that a few pages were not as complete as I wished so I went ahead and drew on top of what I had created in 2017 and then also moved forward and filled the book.

Filling an older book is not nearly as much fun as taking out a new book to fill and imagine the rules and possibilities for the pages. However, I did find that by following through on the idea of filling what had not been filled I was forced to look back at my work. With that came some self evaluation. A good step in a solid studio practice.

The pages did get filled, but the more important part was the lesson I taught myself.

Primarily, I kept a promise to myself—I filled the pages.

Keeping promises can be tough when there is no boss, no one clamoring for the work, and what I promised to myself felt dull once I started. Still, I did the work. So, without further explanation I bring to you my March 2019 plus previous work from 2017, sketchbook page turner!

As always, if you like the work and even if you don’t feel free to comment. Let’s have a dialogue about keeping studio promises!

Sketchbook, March 2019

My March 2019 sketchbook is a different size than February’s book. Due to travel, I worked in a smaller sketchbook that I could carry in my bag.

Join me below for a sketchbook page turner!

Represented in these pages are drawings made in several locations. Dinner guests in Eugene, Oregon. Railroad museum in Portland, Oregon. Lunch in Arcata, California. And I even stopped in the Redwood National Forest in Del Norte California to draw elk in the wild.

Interested in more sketchbook pages? Please visit my blog (and use the search feature to find sketchbooks). You may prefer to visit my YouTube Channel. When and if you do, please hit like or subscribe to follow the work as I make it, thanks.

Doodle Characters Under Development

For those of you who have followed my work you’ll have already noticed that I have been drawing whimsical characters for a long time. Mostly, these drawings have remained in my sketchbooks, for years. They have also landed on any paper surface that happens to be under my pen and even on sidewalks with chalk when my children were small. This effort is what I call doodle characters under development.

Repetition and focused effort is the key to improvement.

To see a few of my past character drawings go here. Recently, I’ve been told that these characters need to lose the name: Doodle.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2019, Character 12 for Art-O-Mat. 50 ink drawings on paper adhered to wood blocks.

Doodling has the connotation of being scribbled absentminded work.

I do not fully agree with this definition for my work. Because of this I am forced to reconsider the meaning of my doodle characters and my continued use of the word doodle. Through making the characters I give them life. Once they exist, they have a visual voice.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2019, Character 15 for Art-O-Mat. 50 ink drawings on paper adhered to wood blocks.

The voice I wish for them to portray is to invite curiosity through whimsy. The characters are non-judgemental, full of life, emotional, and as much as possible I make them while being very present in the present moment. They may at first appear childish—but always contain deeper adult meanings.

I am wildly excited to share this new/old work in new ways! Especially since I have mentally re-framed what my doodle work has meant to me over the years.

While I make them and redraw them and paint them and collage them I think about how I will share their voice—which is ultimately, my voice. I have considered making t-shirts, cards, patterns, and yes, even fine art with them in the central role. All these avenues for showing the work can and will happen in the future. Still, I wonder, how will I complete the loop of the conversation that my art can and does ask for if viewers do not have access to the work in real life, right now?

This blog post is to let you know that you can view these characters almost as fast as I am making them!

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Join my blog using the form above. Each time I post a new drawing, video of my sketchbooks, or studio progress images, you’ll automatically see the work in your email box. Never more than 3 per week, I promise. I need time to make the work too!

January 2019 Sketchbook, with a little December and February too!

I am once again showing the pages and the thinking behind keeping a daily sketchbook. The following pages encompass December 2018, January 2019 and a bit of February 2019 sketchbook. I always like a laugh, hear me know—it’s a page turner!

Honestly, if I could help one other person to enjoy the journey of personal sketching and journal pages, I’d be happy! Comment if I have made a difference for your thinking about sketchbook keeping after you have watched the video.

Suzanne Gibbs, December + January + February 2019 Sketchbook

Once in a while the pages of my sketchbook land me a commission fine art sale. This sketchbook was instrumental in one of these types of relationships. I took an idea from the pages of my sketchbook and remade the art on fine art watercolor paper. I am grateful for the work and most especially the ability to bring joy to a client!

While my goal for my sketchbooks are not sales, when I do get a sale from the effort the extra bonus is sweet and keeps me motivated to keep on learning through an exploration of ideas, materials, and musings. I keep the work purposefully playful and messy! The joy is in the making.

Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project

This video is a page by page view and reading of my January 2019 Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn, New York City.

Using found materials and collage I tell a story of creating love.

The Brooklyn Art Library hosts thousands of sketchbook made by artists from around the world. This sketchbook is my third and final submission to the project.

More Sketchbook Sharing…

In 2018 I worked my butt off learning business aspects of being an entrepreneur. One such thing was creating work in my sketchbooks to share.

Being consistent and showing up with finished work (including process) is an excellent step towards professionalizing my artistic output.

Below please find 2 sketchbook videos I created in 2018. However, I neglected to add the work to my blog during the year. The sketchbook process work is integral to continued exploration of my personal themes and ideas.

With no further drum roll I bring you 2 sketchbooks where I share my process behind the work I make.

July 2018

August 2018


Visiting the Brooklyn Art Library

Late November 2018 I visited my own work in The Brooklyn Art Library.

In this video, I read a few pages from my illustrated journal: Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC.

I encourage anyone visiting NYC to visit The Brooklyn Art Library. This is a place to sit down, get quiet and fall into the hearts and creative beings that shared their small slice of humanity in a shared sketchbook.

I visited the library with a childhood friend.

We sat at the tables, reading book after book. We found ourselves in awe of the stories on the pages of the sketchbooks. The act of holding the art, reading and viewing page after page, felt like an act of intimacy with strangers. I thought to myself, where else could I sit and be this close to the stories of others? People sharing the most lovely stories or giving us a glimpse of their daily activity. As I turned the pages of different books, the work of young and old alike touched my heart.

I found work of artists that went beyond the given sketchbook. Many made new books with stronger watercolor paper or used cloth and stitching. Every book giving away details of the life of the human that created the work.

The Brooklyn Art Library is the perfect place to fall in love with the creative work of others.

I give The Brooklyn Art Library my full endorsement!

PS. The printed version of my sketchbook sold out. To view the digital version click here. Stay tuned in 2019 for more illustrated journals. I love making them—and sharing my work!