Melanie April Houten -- A Sketchbook Conversation

Today's Sketchbook Conversation is with Melanie April Houten, a watercolor artist and teacher in Sarasota, Florida.

Here's Melanie's story:

Hello! I'm Melanie, I am excited to share my sketchbooks with you! I've always kept some sort of diary, even from a very young age. My first one was a 'hello kitty' diary with a lock - and I've been collecting journals ever since. I've always drawn - always written - but hardly ever actually finish filling a journal before I've started another one. I'm slightly obsessed with journals of all types, shapes and sizes and usually have several going on at once.

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My current favorite is the spiral bound Field Watercolor Artist Journal by 'handbook journal co.' It's created with Fluid watercolor paper in either hot or cold pressed - I use cold press - and it's really wonderful.

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Spiral bound books are best for me... as sometimes, when I really don't like something - I have no problem tearing it out! I find that just knowing that helps me go with the flow and create just to create... and typically I don't end up tearing anything out.

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I create a lot of my little 'planets' - it's my way of testing color combinations and seeing how paints react with water and each other. They've taken on a life of their own and I've just created a class on how to create galaxies and cosmic effects based on these experiments.

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What I paint beyond that is truly up in the air each day - I have a love affair with feathers, but then, there's a random lobster or something crazy mixed in there too. Artists!

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For inspiration, I also clip photographs and images from different types of magazines and collage them into a journal. I love looking through this book when I need a color fix. It never fails to inspire me.

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My best advice for starting a sketchbook is - try a spiral bound one - tell yourself that if you don't like something, you'll just tear it out - it takes the pressure off. Once the pressure is off, you'll end up creating something you don't need to tear out! Also - date your entries and track your progress. If you do experiments with color or tools - be sure to record what you did.

sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Melanie April Houten, Watercolor, Painting, Process, Art Process, Artist Studio, My Giant Strawberry


Thank you, Melanie, for sharing your sketchbooks with us today!

Dear reader, you can connect with Melanie:



Missed the other Sketchbook Conversations posts? It's easy to catch up at the series web page.

And for even more inspiration, check out my Artist Interviews




*Photos in this post ©Melanie April Houten. Used with permission.

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! I'm glad you enjoyed peeking into Melanie's sketchbooks!

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  2. The planets and galaxies are so inspiring! Good advice to use a spiral bound sketchbook - I am fond of the spiral bound! :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Simone! Hope you'll be finding some time to work in your own sketchbooks again!

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  3. Loved seeing a glimpse into Melanie's process! I love spiral bound Sketchbooks as well. Just love the colors used in those feathers!!!

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    1. Hi, Andrea, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed this Sketchbook Conversation! :)

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  4. This is such an inspiring sketchbook conversation!! So much color, and I love those little "planets"! Melanie's paint boxes alone are so full of colorful energy! Loved reading and viewing this post, Anne. Thank you for sharing. xo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Judy! I'm so happy to know that you found this Sketchbook Conversation inspiring!

      Glad to have you here!
      xo

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