The past year has been a bit of a rollercoaster of stressful events. Some very serious issues with my husband's health, a very demanding day job, etc. have had me looking everywhere possible for desperately needed distractions. And I found them. Spending time quality time with my husband, the joys of my garden, and some happy family events have kept me feeling grateful for the good things in life.
But the escape for me has been being a part of this Sketchbook Exchange. With many doctors, hospitals and mounds of medical paperwork, and my full time job, I've had very little time to focus on my art. I must add that the medical forms were the worst, really. I have severe "form phobia" and panic and procrastinate everytime there is a form to fill out. Being a part of this exchange and being committed to deadlines (that have long passed) has forced me to "escape" and paint. I've been using this painting time to do the best work possible as it's the only painting time I really have. And I've been seeing improvement in my work. So I am grateful for that. It's allowed me to continue to hold on to my dream that sometimes seems so far away amidst life's ups and downs.
I so much enjoy planning for the next sketchbook. I sit in my garden in early mornings and take in with complete joy, every flower, plant, butterfly and all of nature's gifts and think of what I will paint and for who.
Some Inspiration from my garden:
Since I've not contributed to the blog for awhile, I'll also add the sketchbooks that have been mailed earlier in the year:
At the beginning of this exchange, I asked Shevaun if I could add a little something with each of my sketchbooks. Before I began my journey into botanical art, I spent alot of time sewing. I have a great love of beautiful fabrics and have built up quite a collection over the years. I thought I would like to sew a sketchbook case as my gift to each member. I've had the best time selecting fabrics for each sketchbooker - trying to choose which fabric would be the most fitting. So I hope you will enjoy my little gift when you all get your book at the end.
A few examples of the sketchbook cases that have been mailed.
So for now, I am up to date and already beginning a painting for when the next book arrives. Hopefully, I will be able to stay caught up and have my much needed escape spending time painting for all of my lovely friends.