Thursday, March 12, 2015

Growth, style and change

It's been a while since I've posted but I've still been sketching madly. (I show many of my sketches daily on Instagram these days.) And I've been thinking a bit about how my sketchbook practice is developing.

Around the beginning of the year I realised if I wanted to sketch more regularly, my style would have to change.

I love nothing more than spending an hour or more on a sketch. Like this one done with fellow urban sketchers over a relaxed catch-up in a cafe.

Jodi Wiley - Kinfolk Cafe, Bourke Street, Melbourne in a Stillman & Birn sketchbook

But in day-to-day life, like most people, I just don't have the luxury of time. I have to squeeze sketches in between errands, or scratch something out before the kids beckon.

I've been experimenting with a looser style, smaller sketchbook and limited materials.

Jodi Wiley - Brunswick Street, Melbourne in a Rhodia pocket sketchbook

I happened upon the blues by accident one day when all I had in my bag was two different shades of blue markers. I did my sketch anyway and liked the result. So I've continued with the blue. It's very versatile.

Jodi Wiley - Melbourne sketches

And I really don't mind the bleed-through of the markers. It makes me less precious about putting pen to paper.

The orange of the scooter is thanks to my five-year-old kindly lending me her colour pencils.

Jodi Wiley - Degraves Street, Melbourne in a Rhodia pocket sketchbook

What I've also realised about myself is that I find these sketches much more fun to do. When I'm at home and have a stretch of time and all my materials at hand, I just don't feel motivated to experiment. But when I'm out and about, pressing up against time, with only a handful of pens, I feel energised.

When I think about why I sketch, it's not to create a perfect book. It's because it's fun (why else would you do it?), I want to experiment and grow as an artist, and I have an irrepressible need to record and interpret my world.

A book full of imperfect sketches is better than an empty one.