The Sisterhood of sketchbooks a-bound

The Travelling Sketchbook arrived in all its deliciousness this week and I am anxiously working out how to give justice to filling in a page or two.

To hold Anne’s beautifully bound sketchbook which already has 3 superb pieces in it is a little intimidating. The works are truly far more special to see close up. My hubby called it a cultural artefact as soon as he saw it and asked where we were planning to exhibit it. Whoa there – says I – lets not get ahead of ourselves – it has a long way to go yet.

Anne’s delicate drawing on the cover, Kate’s incredibly skilled folded fabric feather and Sandra’s vibrant still life are all marks of the generous artist. To make a work and send it off into the world to a stranger is a sign of faith. To be next in line is very special.

But in the meantime – before I add to the sketchbook and send it on the next leg of her journey – I wanted to say how great it is to have so much interest. So Sandra set up a special new blog. I said it looks so good it must have been created by overpaid polo neck wearing hipsters but Sandra said we have to thank the (mysterious gnomes?) at WordPress for the genius theme. It’s so new you can smell the paint:

But before you go there & check it out – it’s important to note we’re not the first group of artists keen to connect through this idea. So in recognition of the Sisterhoods of Travelling Sketchbooks which have come before ours and similar initiatives out there – I’ve added some links and glimpses of a range of works as a source of inspiration.

For links to their blogs and further info please scroll down …

Jaime Haney and Stephanie Corder at Dragonfly Designs are artists and part of a Sisterhood who create and share travelling sketchbooks in the US


simeoni_gr2013a_1000Australian Jewellery artists Lauren Simeoni and Melinda Young correspond and share a sketchbook at distance, co-editing their designs. They developed an exhibition from their collaborative work and made the papers in New Zealand.


Lori Bentley large-lady-1622010

Lori Bentley talks about her aim to draw every day and gives a glimpse of the results in her own sketchbook




The Utah Art Education Foundation has one of the largest experiments in travelling sketchbooks. The foundation sent 50 sketchbooks out around the state, asking contributors to post as they contribute and then pass the book on. The contributions, like these by J Weidmer (l) & Mitchell Barton (r), are eclectic and diverse.

In Western Australia – The Sketchbook Project offers young people a chance to complete a sketchbook with a travelling exhibition for the completed works. A really engaging insight into their ideas and creativity.


At the New York Botanical Gardens you can study botanical illustration which sounds amazingly wise – so when one of their Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate alumna Monica Ray wrote,“Would anyone be interested in a ‘Sketchbook Exchange’? And, if so, how would we go about it?” many jumped at the chance.

NYBG marychristiansen-pussywillowsOne of the exemplars in their sketchbook is by the NYBG  drawing instructor, Mary Christiansen






JuliaWalckJulia Walck shares a sketchbook at distance with a fellow artist and awaits its return each time to be enjoyed and added to and then returned. The unrolling moleskin book looks wonderful.






Carmen in Kent at whoopidooings blog, returned to study art as a mature student and talks about her time learning and sharing her sketchbooks as well as her commitment to draw and follow her art.


Jaime Haney

Stephanie Corder

Laura Simeoni & Melinda Young

Carmen in Kent

Laura Bentley

UTAH Art Foundation

WA Propel Sketchbook Project

New York Botanical Gardens

Julia Walck


14 thoughts on “The Sisterhood of sketchbooks a-bound

    • HI Lisa – sorry not to get a reply to you! Just seeing from your blog you haven’t been well – hope you’re on the mend now. We are waiting eagerly for the next instalment of the sketchbook – glad to have you following.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sandra – when I googled to find our blog all these other great mentions came up – I love the whole idea so it is great to see where and how others have made this happen. I hope I get some response from some of the groups I posted up to hear how they got on.


    • Hi Kate – it is quite amazing – maybe it’s a subliminal thing that we unknowingly share. I loved the fact that the sketchbook the Australian Jewellery designers shared made it onto the news in NZ! WE should definitely do a little something on it’s return at least


      • It would also be fun to make it a regular annual event, I think. One page is not a huge demand on everyone’s time, and if we know it’s coming, we can schedule time to put our contributions together.


    • Thanks Curt so much – I hope you can follow the sketchbook too on its journey. Thanks for the comment on my art – I really appreciate that – it’s a never ending learning curve though.


  1. How fun to see more artists join in their own traveling sketchbooks! I wish you all the best, it’s so exciting to get the sketchbooks in the mail and to then add your own creations. You form a special bond as well. I am friends with most all the participants from our sketchbook travels still and we support one another via the internet. My own special group of “sistahs” as I fondly call them. 💕


    • Hi Jaime – fantastic to hear from you. I’m so pleased to find all the other initiatives and to see what they produced. It’s wonderful. We’re just starting out so I hope you can follow us too.


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