Boxed in – Springing out

There’s always a lot happening in April—both in my life and with the seasonal shift to spring. I thought I’d try a grid in my journal as a way to make time for small sketches that would capture some of it. Unfortunately, I found myself feeling increasingly boxed in by the design. Instead of drawing more, I was drawing less. Then I found violets growing in my yard. So small, you’d think they would be perfect for a tiny box. But they seemed to beckon for more, which led me—finally—to turn the page and spring out.

And here’s April’s grid:

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

Watercolor and ink in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook


27 Comments on “Boxed in – Springing out

  1. Beautiful art work. Your Lettering always compliments your work. What tool did you use for the green and Violet writing?

    • Hi Linda- I used a dip pen with a flex nib and watercolor. I haven’t done much of this before, so this was a test run…I think you’ll be seeing more of it!

  2. Both pages are a wonderful hommage to April. I love your grid page — how things are not at all ‘boxed in’ but bursting out all over like spring itself. From the simplicity of those nursery tags to the grace of the bird nest…. wow!

    • As you can see, it’s hard for me to stay in the boxes! I just rough in the grid in pencil first, knowing that I will end up outside the lines before long.

  3. Absolutely lovely, Jean. Violets are a favorite of mine … thank you for your inspiring work.

  4. I like both pages, but the violets are my favorite. They used to grow wild in our yard in New York, but I haven’t seen any like that since we moved to SW Ohio–too warm maybe.

  5. I love the violet sketches and the two pages below the enlarged violet. They are so delicate. A coincidence it is: I saw the same violet blossoms (one single plant) growing in among other native plants in the forest where I was walking this a.m. I had to photograph the plant since the trail I was on is in a reserve and I can’t remove any plants, etc from there.

    Thanks for sharing

  6. Jean, I think you accomplished a beautiful and interesting composition with your journal pages. Lovely drawings that tell a story.

    • Thanks Sharon. That’s nice to hear. Writing this post helped me sort out what was going on for me too. I’m looking forward to making time for my next page.

  7. I understand how you feel about the grid format – I also find it stifles my creativity in my journals. Maybe because I don’t like rules or maybe because I like variety. Who knows? So I am learning to find my rhythm with practice and experimenting. I so like your journals and I hope you find a format that increases your creativity! 💕💖🎨😊

  8. I love these journal pages! The simplicity of the violet and just a few words is delightful and the April page is so jam packed with little delights and full of information! Feeling inspired and very much looking forward to working with you at Hog Island camp!!!

    • Hi Anne- Thanks for being in touch! I can’t wait for Arts & Birding– it will be a great week. Always glad to provide a little inspiration!

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