Water Sketchbook Collaboration

Back in February, three blog friends (2 Australian, 1 USA) asked if I would be interested in joining them with a sketchbook collaboration. Karen Bailey,  Occasional Artist , lives near Melbourne AU, Anna Warren lives in Sydney AU, Cathe Jacobi of Amaryllis Log (who I’ve recently connected with) is in Minnesota USA. All three women are amazing artists who’s work I deeply admire. Each artist will create and start a book, then send it on to the next participant. The sketchbook size was set at A5 and needed to be light weight for travel around the world. With 4 artists participating, there needed to be four full page spreads and one additional full spread for a collaboration page. The first half-page is also for collaboration and the last page is for info on what was created/inspiration. Oh, then there is also the part of actually CREATING the book to send around. Below is my bound book with an inset of marbled paper.

book Jacket

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been part of a collaboration and it was just what I’ve been needing. Something that pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me connect with others. I chose the theme of “Water”. While vacationing on Maui, I couldn’t escape spending everyday in the water. Here in Oregon, our ocean temps are super chilly and not something you would dare enter without a seriously thick wet suit! Drought (lack of water) is also another concern for the Pacific Northwest. Winter snow pack and heavy rains didn’t materialized and our spring certainly arrived several weeks early. California is in much worse conditions and it will greatly affect the rest of the country for food production prices. It’s going to be an ugly summer season filled with major fires throughout the region.

droplets finished

The opening page shows water drops on a partly shaded leaf.

Collaboration spread has clouds in the upper right corner.

sketchbook clouds

Full page spread of waves/water at the shoreline. The color is off in this image, missing more blues and greens. That’s always a problem, trying to capture colors accurately. Taking photos outside on cloudy days creates for different colors captured.



Please feel free to click on the above links to the other three artists. Their sites are varied and full of incredible work. I’ll be posting images of THEIR books as I add to the mix of drawings. Thanks for your continued interest!

Materials used: watercolors, micron pigment pen, Arches 300gm(140#) CP Watercolor paper, marbled paper, Lama Li paper, mechanical pencil.

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

29 thoughts on “Water Sketchbook Collaboration

  1. Karen’s book arrived for me today, looking as good as it did in her blog – I am so excited, and a little nervous about the whole thing! My book is made, and I am working on the first drawing right now … I am so impressed with these drawings you have done Gale, they are really beautiful, it is going to be such a pleasure adding my bit. Doing something like this makes you think differently and concentrate on a topic, and also think about the interaction between us all. A great experience!

    1. Anna, I’m so curious to see what sort of book you’ve created and to find out your theme. It’s more exciting than waiting for Christmas morning and what Santa brought!

      1. Ah, well, its taken me a while (and a couple of false starts! to get going, but now it is on its way. The title is Circle of Life, and I will have plant forms at different stages. Hopefully enough scope for everyone to interpret it in their own way!

  2. Gale, wow, WOW! Your book is stunning! Its wonderful to see it all together. I feel a little like we are asking the weather gods (mother nature) for rain with the theme of water and lovely rain clouds. We too had very little snow and have already started having brush fires south of us. Thankfully it is predicted to rain this week, but the overall outlook for summer is a drought here too. Being a native Californian, it saddens me to think of how difficult this summer will be on the west coast.

    I’m just finishing up my book. I think I lost focus, or maybe became a little disheartened with where I was headed over the weekend and forced myself to put my book aside. Call it an adult time out for bad thoughts.

    I look forward to seeing your book with my own eyes. It looks so incredible!

  3. I really enjoyed looking at the blogs of your collaboration partners. You are all very talented artists.


  4. Your book looks wonderful Gale, I love your theme. We have just had the coolest Summer I can remember with only a couple of small bush fires and only one total fire ban for the season. It am so sorry to hear that you guys are looking at a bad season ahead, I feel your pain. We will be sending our fireman over if you need them. Karen

    1. Ha! Who knows what this summer will really bring. We’ve just received a tad more snow in the mountains but we’re still behind 8 inches in rain/precipitation for the year. Seems like a cool summer could be a nice change for you… Your temps are so high! Looking forward to seeing Cathe’s book soon. 🙂

    1. Thanks Rebecca. Anna Warren was the initial instigating force in the collaboration. She has already started several other book collaboration around the world. I’m looking forward to seeing all the books come to my doorstep. 😊

    1. Yippee! I’m so excited to know it’s coming my way! I love all the little collection additions you’ve added as dangles. Your pages are incredible! I hope I don’t mess things up. My brain is already thinking about what I’ll add to the mix since I too have quite a few collections! Oh, the little strip around the book was just to keep the pages closed better. I didn’t provide enough spine space for the thick pages. I really don’t make books very often and it shows! 🙂

    1. Thanks! The best part is having the book arrive in the mail and opening it for the first time. Cathe’s (Amaryllislog) just arrived today!

  5. Hi Gale, I love this book, your art, and the theme of water. I have been following your fellow collaborators and somehow am just now seeing your sight. I spent my honeymoon on Maui four years ago and did a series of drawings based on photos I took from that trip. What an incredible place–mountains and water! I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful work.

    1. Hi Nancy! Thank you for visiting my site. The book collaboration has been a great way to meet new people. Anna, Karen and Cathe are fabulous artists and I feel so fortunate to be part of the group. Maui! I wish I was there right now, enjoying the breeze while sipping coffee on the veranda, munching fresh fruit and planning the days adventures. Ahhh… Oh well. I really enjoyed looking through your site and I’m seriously impressed at your work. Your scratchboard work is incredible. Thanks again for your comment! – Gale

      1. I too wouldn’t mind being in Maui right now! Thanks for your kind words. I look forward to seeing more of your work and more of the books you are making with Anna, Karen, and Cathe.

  6. Hi Gale! I found you through Anna’s blog. I love the water theme! This is the first time I’ve been in a collaboration with books, its been so much fun and a relief to hear that I’m not the only one that worries about keeping up the standard of art. I haven’t ventured into making books, so the moleskin booklets have been fantastic for me, I’ve been admiring all of the beautiful books that have been made, you are all so talented. Your water theme is gorgeous, and I love the marbling in the book covers too. Looking forward to seeing what comes next in the book! Who is the next artist? ~ K

    1. Hi Kylie! It’s so nice to connect with you. I knew about the other collaboration but wasn’t certain how many were involved. With this group, the other artist involved is Cathe Jacobi who lives in Minnesota. She can be found at http://amaryllisblog.wordpress.com. It’s been daunting to know I’ll be working in books created by Anna and Karen. They are incredible! I wasn’t familiar with Cathe’s work until they invited me to join the group (and I love her style and imagery as well).
      With your amazing abilities, you should try creating a book. It would be a breeze!
      Karen’s book is coming my way soon. I’m looking forward to receiving it and seeing the drawings up close. Thank you again for connecting. I’ll be signing up to watch your blog now too!

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