I love seeing other people's sketchbooks, it feels like such a privilege, and it's often the best part of visiting degree shows. I also love to look through my own old ones - it is amazing how the same ideas crop up again and again in different guises.
I have included a couple of shots of mine - doodling for the perfect bird shape, and a study of some flowering ivy.
I have been thinking about my work and identifying areas which I need and want to develop. For me, there are five important aspects to what I do creatively:
- Ordinary domestic textiles - sewing, knitting, crochet. A simple love of fabric, yarn, and a clean pretty house, not necessarily profoundly expressive, but rewarding nonetheless.
- Drawing and painting - observational work which develops my skills and can be a end in itself.
- Sketching and notetaking - like breathing to me - I am never without a notebook - doodling, pattern-making, collecting references, photographing, jotting down ideas.
- Textile work - my love of handstitch - development of ideas and themes through expressive 2-D fabric pieces.
- Objects, paperwork and 3-D work - exploration of print, decorated surfaces, construction processes.
There is also a sixth group - the things I make to sell - these grow out of the other areas and will be constantly changing and developing depending on what other creative work I am doing.
At the moment, my drawing, painting and expressive textile work is still very undeveloped and I feel the lack of these keenly. For me, to produce this sort of work requires serious concentration and determination, neither of which come naturally to me, and yet I have a strong need to work in this way. Part of my creative journey this year will be balancing these different strands of my work.