On Saturday, my friend Tina and I made our way in the rain to Peabody, Massachusetts and the lovely former Post Office which houses ArcWorks, a community arts center. 

We were there to see the first exhibition of Urban Sketchers Boston, which happens to be my first exhibit as well. 

First Art Show

I have two sketchbook double-spreads in the show. Some of the other entries are framed, some like mine are open sketchbook pages still bound. And some entries are complete books, resting on a wall bracket and able to be handled.

My entries were not complete sketchbooks as I'd hoped. But I decided to knock perfectionism a blow and submit a spread from each unfinished book anyway. Having seen the exhibit, I'm glad I didn't miss the opportunity by holding out for perfect. We all know that wait will last a long time!


This is a Moleskine Watercolor (5 x 8.25 inches) sketchbook, a very portable size. The 135 lb cold-pressed paper has the same surface on both sides, making double-spreads possible, even back to back.

I love giving my sketchbooks a layout like a book. Recently, I also began labeling each spread with a sideways title in large capitals, giving a cohesive look to the whole book even with unrelated subject matter. This sketchbook began with sketches around Boston, including this image painted from Memorial Drive across the Charles River to Copley Square. The book concludes with a 3,500 mile drive to Minnesota as a family, when I rose above the tiredness and drew daily.

I write copiously on most pages and don't view this as just a sketching exercise. The page below is an unusual double spread for me, all painting and just the label.

This sketchbook is a large Moleskine Watercolor Album. Closed, the book is 8.5 by 12 inches. Open, it has a spread of two feet! Yet I found it surprisingly easy to tuck under my arm and keep with me while traveling about the UK with my husband for our anniversary and my mum's birthday.

This was sketched with my back to the North Sea on a corner of the Norfolk coast, crouched down, resting the book on my knees and holding my little homemade tin of watercolors. The seaweed really was a lovely fuchsia color. We were walking on the beach with my parents and their dog, and they politely hung about while I captured this quick sketch. There's a tiny black building on top of the dunes to the left. We ate lunch there afterwards and I drew my coffee quickly before it got cool in the sea breeze.

I was trying to do two double-spreads a day for the whole UK trip, aiming to fill up the 60-page book. And almost succeeded ... until I got concussion. Now that I'm feeling so much better, when the books come back at the end of the month, I'm hoping to give them the finishing touches that were cut short in the fall.

Your Turn: the Twitter Art Exhibit

Has that whet your appetite for submitting your artwork to an exhibit? Or perhaps you're thinking you could never do that? 

In April, the Trygve Lie Gallery on 52nd St. in New York City will host the Twitter Art Exhibit: a great opportunity for both professional and amateur artists to raise money for charity and have their postcard-sized artwork on show in NYC. I encourage you to consider having a go!

All works will be available for sale to the public for $35. Unsold postcards remains the property of the charity supported. 

Artists are allowed one entry each. There is no entry fee. Submissions and registration form merely have to be popped in a card-sized envelope and mailed to the address at the website below. How simple is that? A win/win. 

With thoughts of the Japanese postcard art, etegami, fresh in my mind, this struck me as a good opportunity to try out that lovely style. Submissions must be on sturdy paper so etegami paper, if used. would need to be attached to a sturdy backing.

The Details

Artists need to have a Twitter account and entries can be sent from anywhere in the world. The deadline for submission is March 11, 2016. 

Read the details carefully: you'll find all you need to know about materials, mediums and dimensions accepted, what to include on the back of your entry, a link to the registration form and where to send it, at twitterartexhibit.org.

Website: www.twitterartexhibit.org
Twitter: www.twitter.com/twitrartexhibit
Facebook: www.facebook.com/twitterartexhibit

Hot Summer Day, the 2016 Twitter Art Exhibit entry from Twitter user @kunst_seele. Used with permission.