Sketchbook Revival 2023 … What a Wild and Colorful 13-Day Ride

March 20 – April 1st

For the last 6 years, I’ve participated in an annual, 2-week long sketching/mixed media event, Sketchbook Revival, founded and hosted by a talented sketchbook artist, Karen Abend. Every Spring, Karen brings together a cast of creative artists for a mega on-line teaching marathon, where each day, 2 1-hour sessions are shared with hundreds of participants. These sessions cover topics like basic mark-making, collage, caricature creation, drafting and perspective, composition, urban sketching, flowers, mammals and birds, portraits, map making, story telling, and on and on! This year a session in textiles was even included. Techniques were taught in using a wide-variety materials, such as watercolor, gouache, markers, pencil and pen, colored pencil, and many forms of mixed-media.

The whole fun event is designed to stretch your creative comfort zone by trying new things and experiencing new approaches to art making. And as incredible as it sounds, all you need to participate is your time and whatever materials you have on hand. Otherwise, it’s totally free! Wowza!

If this sounds irresistibly intriguing, and you just gotta-wanna participate next year, I’ll include a link below to find out more. Meanwhile, check out the photos of my Sketchbook Revival 2023 creations, filling up my handmade sketchbook (oh yeah, the pre-work session includes instructions on how to make your own sketchbook). I never expect to create works of art during the event; many of my pages are just plain awful. But no matter the result, I always made it fun! Enjoy!

Opening Session pages ….. the Charley Harper-ish birds at the bottom were my filler
The page on the left …. Definitely right up my artistic alley. The one on the left was a great approach to using random prompts to make art. A keeper technique for me.
Day 2 was “Blob” day. Always silly fun. Never know what may happen.
These 2 pages took on a life of their own. I followed the instructors until I didn’t! Perfectly allowable. Still interesting results.
I love experimenting with portraits and learning new ways to make them look real. Did I do that? The easier session with Tamara was a more comfortable fit for me. I liked my drawing, but the coloring was colorfully abstract ….. something really different for me. Sweet fox tho!
Another approach to kick-start your artistic slump ….. and then the collage. Collage is never easy for me, or intuitive. The experiment in paper gluing was challenging for me.
Ok ….. this must’ve been my finger painting day! Hahaha! Don’t think much came from the first session, so I took another approach with Session 2 and added one of my favorite McFarlane poems. Magpies are so clever!
This was a session deserving more attention in some of my future blog posts. Sketch Noting is great fun, but turning the sketch notes into a roadmap? Brilliant.
Really enjoyed the fun of this collage effort! And loved the urban sketchinglessons from Roisin Cure (and signed up for some of her follow-up classes which were outstanding)
Wow! The more I play with urban sketching, the more in love I become. And Toni Burt’s approach really worked for me, especially when it comes to story telling! Stay tuned for more urban sketching in my journals! Session 2 on neurographic art was a bit too “out there” for me, so I skipped it (also allowable, as there are no rules to Sketchbook Revival). Then Session 1 the following day ….. another collage. Oh well!
Another Roisin tutorial on succulents. I enjoyed her tips on creating convincing rosettes. And painting motifs was fun ….. mine took a Charley Harper twisted chicken turn. Couldn’t help myself.
A little toilet paper roll stencil work on the left (weird) and some colorful abstract landscapes (otherworldly in a few cases, huh?)
Oh wow! Textiles! Didn’t think this would resonate with me, but something clicked and after watching the session twice, I found myself deeply immersed in the practice of making Wabi Sabi fabric scrolls. A fascinating art form that’s intended to be imperfect, subtle and intimate while expressing both simplicity and impermanence. I don’t think my art expresses any of those things. But this approach to calming art making really drew me in. Hmmmm!
Here’s my rolled up Wabi Sabi scroll
And here’s my Wabi Sabi scroll all un rolled. I don’t know what meaning this has for me. Worth pondering?
And the last day! Another year of Sketchbook Revival concluded and added to my past 5 years of sketchbook creations.
Oh, just couldn’t resist another of Roisin’s tutorials. I’m rather found of this one ….. Cheers!

So if you’ve made it this far, and want to learn more about future Sketchbook Revival events, follow the link below:

ask for Karen ….. tell her I sent you!