Zoya Makarova -- A Sketchbook Conversation

Today's Sketchbook Conversation is going to be the last post of the series. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these 48 artists and sharing their work with you this over the last year and a half or so, but it's time for me to move on.

Looking back at the series, I think I have proved my point... there is no wrong way to keep a sketchbook. There are many reasons to do so from planning other projects (like Sharon's and Amber's dolls -- very different from each other or Jaime's and Pat's paintings -- also very different) to getting through the days with a chronic disease to designing patterns (actually a few of the artists I've interviewed use their sketchbooks for this: Lauren and Barbie and Pamela, too) to keeping track of the natural world to simply creating for the joy of it. You've gotten to see everything from collage to mandalas to stitching to mixed media to miniatures and everything in between.

I hope that you have been inspired. Inspired to begin your own sketchbook, if that calls to you, or inspired to follow your own path. So many people are living creative lives. In many different ways. There is room for you to do it, too. (No matter what IT might be!). If you're dreaming, why don't you give it a try?

And now, on to today's Sketchbook Conversation. Like many of the artists I've invited to share their work here, I "met" Zoya Makarova on Instagram. She's a fellow watercolor artist and I am very glad to have her here for the last Sketchbook Conversation.

For about two years I sketched daily finding little snippets of time to capture something of the day in the small pen drawings.  Sometimes I would carefully plan longer time intervals and attempt more complicated subjects, also adding colour with Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours.  I loved this everyday habit and now looking through even the simplest of sketches brings back a flood of memories.  However my family and I moved countries and 6 months later towns.  While moving and adjusting to the life in the new places I lost this daily sketching habit.


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova

One day I spotted  “J.M.W. Turner The ‘Skies’ Sketchbook” book in the library.  Maybe painting the sky would be the magic solution to restarting the daily sketching habit - it seemed like an easy enough subject to tackle & so I started 100 sky sketches project.


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova

Most of my sketches were done with the watercolours:  St Petersburg White Nights, Winsor & Newton professional & Cotman brands.  I used few different sketchbooks (as I don’t have a favourite brand) and loose sheets of paper.  For my botanical paintings I usually use Arches cold-pressed watercolour paper and while trying out different papers for the sky sketches I realised that I prefer paper with a bit of texture.


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova

Painting the skies turned out to be both simple and challenging.  I only needed 10-30 minutes for each sketch, so it was easy to find the time, though sometimes I would only remember at the end of the day (usually while cooking dinner) & have to rush to my paints and sketchbooks.  I found myself looking up more often, watching the clouds float by and wondering how to capture their fluffiness and lightness and yet give them some definition and shape.  Often, after sketching and looking at the sky, I would feel calmer, at peace with myself and the world around me.


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova


sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations, Zoya Makarova

With every sketch I was learning something new: I became more confident in applying watercolour washes, enjoyed mixing various greys (French Ultramarine & Burnt Sienna can create so many beautiful shades of grey), learned more about how water & pigment interact together while working wet-on-wet and found the perfect Blue (Winsor Blue (Green Shade)) to capture the beautiful clear blue colour of the Australian sky.  My improved watercolour skills gave me the confidence to tackle a painting I was thinking of for two years.


watercolor, Zoya Makarova, Sketchbook Conversations

I now sketch most days, though I rarely share my sketches on social media.  My sketches are a messy record of my life, my plans, painting ideas, new techniques and materials - they help to learn and to understand the best way to capture my vision of the world - but that’s another story.  Happy sketching.


Thank you, Zoya for sharing your sketchbooks with us today.

Dear reader, you can connect with Zoya:



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 ©Zoya Makarova. Used with permission.

Comments

  1. What a wonderful idea to paint the sky! Beautiful "sketches" as well as the lovely florals. And I love the messy paintboxes - that would be me!
    Such a wonderful series, Anne! What will you do next? (You already do enough!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the series, Judy! I would have liked to have included YOU, too! Maybe someday. :)

      I'm still not entirely decided about what 2018 will hold. I guess we'll see how things unfold!

      Thank you so much for being here over the years, cheering me on as I've made my way along the twists and turns of my creative journey. It means so much to have you here!

      xo

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  2. Anne, thank you so very much for sharing all of these artists with us here on your blog. It's been a treat to see the variety, beauty and skill that each artist has shown us. I hope you'll rest on your laurels for a bit over the holidays. It will be fun to see what you're up to in 2018! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the series, Karen!

      I am going to take a short rest before launching into 2018. I have high hopes and more ideas that I'll ever have time to tackle! :)

      Thanks for being here cheering me on. I truly appreciate your encouragement and support!

      xo

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