Notebooks: Little Gems

Notebooks can become real little treasures. Despite the fact that almost everything I do at work is electronic – spreadsheets, databases and a variety of apps have made our ability to process information so much more efficient – there is still a place for the good old fashioned paper and pen/brush notebook.   I do use an electronic notebook for capturing ideas for paintings, but when I read Michael Bailey’s post about his watercolour Moleskine, I set myself up with a portable pack for painting ideas too. Thank you for the inspiration, Michael.


There are some things that just can’t be replicated by the electronic version:

My notebook is a way of recording colour combinations I want to try out.

It’s a place I can do a quick sketch in situe if I’m painting en plein air and need to finish the painting later.


And sometimes it’s just somewhere to satisfy the urge to play with a bit of colour, or create a little reminder of the image of a particular day or place. There was a beautiful glass vase of agapanthus flowers on the patio table where we had lunch last Christmas. This brings back the memory of the colours and the relaxed atmosphere of the day.


Some notebooks just have to be shared:

David Melling’s comment on rediscovering this image in his sketchbook is wonderful and very funny.

A whole series of fascinating notebooks revealed on the Brainpickings blog.


3 thoughts on “Notebooks: Little Gems

  1. Vandy, keeping notebooks or colour journals as I call them, is a mark of a true and dedicated artist. I have A4 size books which include snippets of work from the 70’s. It’s fascinating to see other artists notebooks, isn’t it?

    1. I completely agree, Maggie. They can be really interesting. I’m also finding that sometimes I enjoy working in my notebook even more than on the final painting. There’s something liberating about being able to work in a space that’s just for yourself.

Comments are closed.