"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)

Sketchbook studies ....

The great news is that my final diploma artworks have been completed and are on their way to the location in the UK to be assessed by the judging panel.

Finally ...

It's been a chaotic household in the last few weeks - trying to complete three artworks and gather everything together.  The postage for this course has been very expensive - travelling from Western Australia to London is an awfully long way and the time taken and costs incurred certainly reflect that.  The sketchbook adds a lot of weight to the final packages being sent.

For the duration of the course we have been following guidelines and examples given by those of former student Mary Ann Scott - features of her sketchbook were published by the Society of Botanical Artists publishing available here

 Interview with Mary Ann Scott here at Making A Mark.

A big part of the whole assignment process is to work from sketches, colour studies and plan compositional ideas in a sketchbook supplied by the SBA -  to be sent on completion with the final artworks.  This sketchbook is also assessed and a mark is given to reflect a student's use of it. 


These are some of my earlier sketches and going back through the book made me cringe a little - my way of working is quite crude in the early stages! 

The studio is usually littered with scraps of sketch and watercolour paper with all these observations - rather than working tightly on a spiral bound book  - then all the bits are stuck into the SBA provided sketchbook to show the planning process.

 It's a process that works for me, while the research and observations are recorded, the lion's share of accuracy and enthusiasm is reserved for the artwork once I feel intuitively I am on the right track. 
It's not as pretty as many I have seen but for me it's a personal reference tool rather than for public show.  I'm not inclined to go back over it and try and embellish it,  to me that defeats the purpose somewhat.

Things were done a little differently with the field studies - the sketchbook became a mini journal of sorts that travelled with me to the location ...
 I included this as a separate journal to show the work in situ under very different conditions to an art studio.

Working in the Field sketch journal

Hopefully the judges can see how the sketchbook was significantly utilised rather than assess its beauty ...

For now I will breathe a sigh of relief .. at the massive amount of work completed, at the fact that summer has come to an end on the calendar, even though it's still hot and dry ...
and that there are holidays on the horizon and a season starting to turn ...


  1. Well done Vicki, I must admit I like how you use your sketchbook. The couple that I have on the go normally have bits and pieces stuck in them !

    Wishing you all the best x

  2. Your drawings are amazing. If you're ever in the south of France, I'd like you to sketch my ancient olive, lemon, and orange trees. You would do them the justice they deserve.

    1. Thank you so much Gustia.
      I was in Provence last year and fell in love with the region ... spent time in L'Isle sur la Sorgue, St Remy, etc.
      I would love to sketch them ... am heading back to Europe but this time Tuscany.
      Your photos are stunningly beautiful and certainly detailed enough for me to draw and paint from.

  3. I agree with you that the sketchbook is best use of the sketchbook is for experimenting and a record of process and progress. But it does look like you have some beautiful pages too!

  4. How wonderful that you have now completed the course. And also reading the newer posts that your talent has been noted, a really exciting time, exhibiting some of your work. I really enjoyed seeing your sketch book pages and all your hard work. Well done just for reaching the end of the course, huge congratulations on all your beautiful art work.

    1. Thank you Milly - I really appreciate it - and your blog always inspires me x