Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sketchbook Workshop held this last weekend.

Your new branch chairman is Dave Croad and I wanted to take this opportunity and I'm sure you will all join me in welcoming him and wishing him well in a wonderful term with the Joburg branch. Tony Kelly, Robyn Spalding and Debbie Schiff who form part of the Johannesburg sub-committee and will be assisting him in areas relevant. We are looking forward to hearing from you and sharing updates on our blog on a regular basis, so please check in regularly.


On Saturday morning Cathy Gatland presented a wonderful workshop on keeping personal sketchbooks and artist's journals. Using her own and Barbara's sketchbooks and journals as examples, as well as some lovely books on the subject, Cathy gave a presentation using projected images, to illustrate how one can use sketchbooks for a myriad of reasons, all of them good!
Benefits include the obvious improving of one's drawing skills, sharpening one's perceptions and observations, thinking about and practising good design, experimenting with colour, and using small pockets of otherwise wasted time to do enjoyable art - eg on the bus, train or plane or in a doctor's waiting room, etc.

Expanding this idea makes for wonderful journals, which can go all the way, using found objects, crafts and decorative creativity - all without costing much at all. Cathy showed slides of the sketches of Daniel Gregory, whose discovery of making small sketches led to his being able to cope with great personal tragedy. You can visit his website at to learn his story and see his journey.

Some of Cathy's wonderful Sketches

Then we were invited to have tea, and take one of the delicious cupcakes provided the the own and eat, but first to draw!

The important thing is that sketchbooking and journalling is a lot of fun and has lots of positive reinforcement for the artist. Cathy showed the work of people from all over the world, mostly from the Urban Sketchers (Cathy is the Johannesburg Correspondent for Urban Sketchers).

Anyone can join Urban Sketchers. It doesn't cost anything as it is internet based and international. Cathy organises sketchouts regularly on Saturday mornings. Go to to see the organisation, and to Cathy's own blog at for more.

The WSSA would love to see more people adding additional strings to their artistic bows, so take a look.

Joburg Branch encourages its members to join, and challenges other branches to become correspondents, adding their cities and towns to the global sketching community.

Barbara's Sketches done from her March journal.

Finally, congratulations to Dave Croad, who won the lucky draw for a Winsor & Newton Sketcher's pan set!

Until next time.... enjoy your painting!

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