My earliest is the last Stillman and Birns that I used. I like their paper a lot, but the 6x8 size is only in spiral bound, and scanning in sketches across that gap is challenging. Their bound sketchbooks open up to a pretty square format, and I really prefer a rectangle to work in. So this was my last hurrah for their books. The first half is the second half of my 2014 Paris trip, but I kept working in it on my return, and a good third of it was 2015. A couple of my favorites were a marker sketch of Mud Island and sketches of Mr. Darcy.
My first handbook journal, January to April, hooked me on their books. They're a great size to fit in my purse, take water media nicely, and even have a small pocket in the back for museum tickets and other momentoes. This was my hands down favorite page from that one.
I also got back to Shakertown in Kentucky, one of my favorite places to sketch.
During that period I also went to Amsterdam and spent a week sketching both the city and inside the museums.
And then on to Paris for one utterly beautiful week.
Finally, I'm two thirds of the way through the small handbook I started in October. Sketching ground mostly to a halt during my really busy pre-Christmas season, but I got over the Dixon at the end of the holiday to sketch my show, which was the single biggest moment of my career.
I also (always) continue to sketch my beloved Mr. Darcy.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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