Sketchbook Pages: Hope is a thing with feathers

Originally uploaded by - jaye -
My friend Sarah over at Skneposterous found out about the Sketchbook Project 2011 last October, and along with a few friends, we decided to try it.

We turned our books in in January, after scanning the pages in for posterity's sake. After spending so much time with the little moleskine, it was very hard to put the book in the mail, but I am excited to see it on tour, beginning in March. If it comes to a city near you, I hope you can go see the collection because so many of the artists involved, who I've begun following via twitter, facebook, and google reader, have shown so much delightful wit, delicious talent, and awe-inspiring insight that my life is deeply enriched by them.

Sketchbooks are ways of capturing our thoughts as we go along...More often than not, my sketchbooks remain incomplete. The get stuck on shelves, or I find a new one that is much cooler and will magically make me sketch more if I skip the old one and begin using a new one.

So I began sketching. In 2 months I completed more sketching than I had done in the last three years. Some of it was crummy; some of it was quickly done, and some of it was unplanned and didn't work out the way I expected. Some of it was simply the work of putting pencil to page and perhaps not even knowing where it would go until I had something--anything to work with.

The idea of the hummingbird came from my friend Beth, who gave me a book of Audubon's illustrations this year; I was tumbling around ideas of hope with ideas of brokenness and something about not being able to carry on for a time....and this series of sketches involving a hummingbird who does not fly came about. I just started with pencil, since that felt simple and less intimidating to begin with. The victorian dirigible, I think, came from Sarah's sketchbook with dirigible's and submersibles, but I liked  the idea of the bird flying not under its own power. The ship's name, 'Hope', got me thinking about Emily Dickinson's poem, and I explored that in later pages.

Though the different illustrations are scattered throughout the book, I thought I'd discuss them in the context of the similar storylines together.