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In September, I had a very exciting package pushed through my letterbox. It was my Brooklyn Sketchbook Library sketchbook.
I'd heard about the idea through my local Urban Sketching group and decided to take part. You order a small brown, blank sketchbook, fill it up with whatever you want and then mail it back and it basically lives forever more in the Brooklyn Sketchbook Library, near New York. You get a notification when someone views your book and you can have it digitised if you want to, as well.It also travels around in a van so even those not local to Brooklyn can have a look at your sketchbook. It's a cool initiative, it's fully funded by the contributors (us) and I loved the whole idea of it.
I chose the theme 'Cityscape Escape', mostly because I'm drawn to buildings and city scenes. When I ordered it in the summer, I had expected to take my sketchbook out and about on days out, weekend trips and holidays around the UK (I had a visit to Edinburgh planned), but the Covid-19 outbreak and various restrictions had other ideas for that. So I looked up photos of all the cool places I'd been on my phone and turned it into a kind of travel-heritage journal. All historic things. There's a sketch from a photo I took at York while I was at uni in the late 1990s, a drawing of a Gloucester street I visited when lockdown briefly eased in summer 2020 - and some images of interesting places around my local area.
I completed the sketchbook in pencil, unipin fineliners and Faber Castell watercolours. I've also used my ever-faithful Tombow brush pens in there, too. And I've scribbled in notes about the places - their history, the characters that lived there and any other interesting bits of info, as well. Locked down at home in various degrees for the best part of a year, it became a really beautiful and mindful way of reminiscing about all my past adventures. I think I'll fill up another one when rules are eased - and do that one in the open air, with new places I'd love to go!
This was so much fun to do. You can have a look at the video of the sketchbook here:
Thinking about taking part in the sketchbook challenge yourself? Here are a few tips I can pass on...