2x2: 2 Artists, 2 Sketchbooks -- Week 15

I have to say that my page for this week was not my favorite. In truth, it's scary to share things I've made that I am not happy with. But I'm coming to realize both in this project and in my push to work more regularly in my other sketchbooks that the "bad" stuff is all just part of the process. It's ok if something goes "wrong"; it's natural. Sometimes my sketchbook pages will be a bit of a flop. The point is to make the work -- experimenting, trying new things, testing ideas -- a habit. Maybe I'll never take my experiments anywhere other than that page in my sketchbook. But maybe, that experiment will lead to others and on to something wonderful.

For that reason, I urge you not to feel discouraged with your own sketchbooks. Just let go of the self-criticism. The point is not perfection. The point is play and practice.

Maybe I am not happy with my page because I didn't really know what I was going to do when I started it (and the idea never got any clearer as I went along).

When I let my page remind me of The Princess and the Pea or a big pile of books, I like it better (the long squiggles could be pages of a book or the wavy hair of a princess).

2x2, 2x2 Sketchbook, #2x2sketchbook, Anne Butera, Dana Barbieri, Patterns, Watercolor, Doodles
Dana (l), Anne (r)

I like that Dana chose to take her page in the direction of colorful, geometric pattern-play and that she took the colors to such a dramatic level. On my page they seem spring-like to me, but Dana made this spread sizzle with summer hotness.

2x2, 2x2 Sketchbook, #2x2sketchbook, Anne Butera, Dana Barbieri, Patterns, Watercolor, Doodles
Dana (l), Anne (r)
I like all the contrasts. Bright and pale. Bold and soft. Thin lines and thick. Again, this week surprised me. I am so grateful that we're on this journey together.

Don't forget to check out Dana's blog for her take on this week's spread!

About the project:

2x2: 2 Artists, 2 Sketchbooks is a collaboration between artists Dana Barbieri and Anne Butera. Dana and Anne met in an online painting class. Although they have never met in person, they have become friends through regular visits to each others' blogs. It was through this connection that this project began. Wanting to move from friendship to collaboration, each spent two months filling one half of a sketchbook before mailing it off to the other. Dana worked on the lefthand pages and Anne on the right. Each will be responding to the other's work on the adjacent sketchbook pages over the coming year. Watch weekly as they reveal another page of their story.

About the artists:

Dana is an artist and crafter living in the foothills of the Catskill mountains two hours north of New York City with her husband, two children and little kitty. She is passionate about painting, knitting, crochet, color, pattern and design.

Anne is an artist, writer and crafter who finds inspiration and joy in the beauty of her garden and the magic of nature. Dissatisfied with and disheartened by the pace and lifestyle of the city, she and her husband (with their two rescued greyhounds and an aging Siamese) relocated to a small town in the beautiful Driftless region in southwest Wisconsin with the goal of living a slower, simpler, more intentional life.

*photos in this post by Dana Barbieri


  1. Exploration is necessary to creative breakthroughs and mistakes teach us to let go of outcome and focus on process. Like the saying "a weed is just a flower who's virtues are not recognized yet" the value of our mistakes can only be viewed in hindsight. Your page reminds me of patterns seen on scarves from the 60's and '70's.

    1. :)

      You're so right, Sharon.

      And I love the idea of vintage scarf patterns.

  2. I like both pages! They are like structured random - if that makes sense! Dana's page is very busy and interesting and yours brings serenity and focus. Your wavy lines are the connection that links the pages (in my minds eye!) :-)

    1. Thanks, Simone. "Structured random" is a good description!



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