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Sketchbook Project 2014

I entered The Sketchbook Project again this year. I knew what I wanted to do for a while, but typically I didn’t pull the finger out until two weeks before the deadline.  Last year I drew part of Wexford Main Street, the year before I wrote a wee story about feeling lost.  This year I drew most of the places I have lived in, with a commentary on what I remember about living there.




info 30GR

I drew the floor plans on layout paper and layered them in the order the floors go in, so there are hints of the floor below visible, as can be seen in the scan directly above.  I kept the colours to  a minimum, just a little greenery in the gardens or a highlight somewhere else.

Essentially, this is a project about Home.

(Something that I planned on putting into the sketchbook but ran out of space for was this juicy map (always a map). I clicked a few years ago that two places I’ve lived in are built on the former site of a Female Orphanage. Odd little coincidence.)


annamoe compare circle



Dublin Statues continued….

Statues: Sample Book Page

I’m really excited with the direction this project is going in!

A very talented friend of mine has kindly agreed to write a piece of text in connection with each statue’s  image.  She’s a playwright who has created some really amazing characters so I knew she would bring a whole other level to their stories.  I have always wanted to collaborate with her.  I’ll post the final pieces when they are done so will get to read each piece.  It’s a work in progress at the moment.  Here’s a sample above.

For the next stage, I have to decide on presentation.  I have been considering-book format OR ebook OR printed images OR sound and slideshow installation (as my sister suggested).  More to follow!

Sketchbook Project 2013 – Wexford Main Street

The deadline for the most recent Sketchbook Project was last Tuesday 13th January.  I made it, just in time.  I really liked doing this one too- wish I had more time to draw.  And sew.  And knit.  Andandand.  Practice makes perfect after all!

front cover


close up boots

close up corcorans



fold out back

This time I did a very long drawing of a section of North Main Street in Wexford;  (Last time I wrote a wee story).  I’ve planned on drawing both Abbey Street and Capel Street in Dublin for a while; I’ve a crazy-assed plan for the drawings (if they ever materialise), and came up with the idea that this could be done as my sketchbook.  I decided to take some photos and spend the few days I’d off over Christmas drawing.  But, the day I went to take the photos of Capel Street was miserable- proper Irish yuck.  So miserable that I decided that Wexford Main Street would do.  Consequently, on Christmas Day I told Sam that he had no choice but to accompany me down town with Sunny for her walk.  While I took photos on my phone, Sam made small-talk with a crazy dude who didn’t bat an eyelid at what I was doing but told Sam all about his finding a wallet with €500 “just there” and how he didn’t bring it to the Gardai “thieving civil servants, the lot”.  Thanks Sam!

sam shaws


I stuck a Sam and Sunny in for good measure- the only bit of colour in the otherwise basic line drawings.

I scanned the entire thing in high res; someday I’ll sit down and piece it together.  Someday.  Ya know, that day in the future.

back cover

Róisín’s Library

My godmother Róisín had a significant birthday at the end of August.  She loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book and is a huge Agatha Christie fan, so this cushion didn’t take too much thinking about.

I had an accident with this when I was making it.  I mentioned in a previous post that I tend to work by eye; I don’t always mark things out.  Well, this time I decided to use some dissolvable* fabric.  So far so good.  Turns out that you need colour-fast fabric when rinsing out the dissolvable* fabric.  That lovely red gaberdine fabric I used for the background was absolutely NOT colour-fast, not even a tiny bit.  When immersed, it promptly turned the water (and my hands) a vibrant red colour.  All the detail went a lurid pink.  And I may have cried a tiny bit.  I made some frantic phone calls; did a bit of googling, and then left it in a bucket of cold water and lemon juice, and went to see a film, because that’s how I roll with pink hands.  I mention this because the logo across the top of the cushion that says Róisín’s Library came into existence to cover the next problem that occurred.  The colour run remover that I bought on the way home from the cinema left a lovely (not so lovely) orangey stain where the logo is now.  Never rains but it pours, right?  Or to use an opposing idiom, every cloud has a silver lining?  Because, in the end-up, the personalisation makes the cushion.

Róisín loved it.  And I reverted to type, I didn’t use dissolvable* fabric to embroider the covering for the stain…

(*Dissolvable is not a real word apparently.  Dissolve is.  Dissolved.  Dissolving.  All real.  Not dissolvable.  The wiggly red line tells me it’s wrong; it suggests dissoluble.  I checked, it suggests dissoluble.  Really, I think I need the word soluble.  But I prefer dissolvable.  So there, and wiggly red line. Dissolvable.)

Very Exciting….

Remember the Sketchbook I made for Art House Co-Op?  Well, they featured mine with 34 others in their blog!  Ooh, I got so excited last night when I saw that:-)  It’s “35 Sweet Sketchbook Covers“…

Just had to share!

Adding My Sketchbook To The Mix…

My idea for The Sketchbook Project Limited Edition morphed quite considerably as I put off working on it (procrastination queen, me).  I began with something I knew I didn’t have time for, a mixed-media idea that I am now working on in a whole other format (I’ll blog about that all in good time).  I decided to stick to a simple book of drawings, and wanted every page to have a maze on it. Essentially I wanted to create a puzzle book I suppose.  BUT.  It felt wrong.  It needed a narrative.  And so Bo and his ball of string was born; inspiration born from a crossword that had a clue about Theseus, Ariadne and the Labyrinth.

I made a little video of the whole storybook.  It’s dead simple and silent, but I hope you like it.


Sketchbook Project- The Result

In my last post I mentioned I’d finished my notebook for the Limited Edition Sketchbook project. Here’s a few photographs of the result.

I chose The Science of the Story as my theme for the notebook. As some of you will know I’ve been scribbling away on something for quite a while now. The notebook depicts part of a scene from the story and a map of the area the main character has found themself in so far.

In between the pages I typed part of the first chapter onto tracing paper and cut out wee windows so you can see part of the story. I layered the tracing paper and, as a result, the writing is quite blurry. I deliberately left in mistakes as its a work in progress and sure mistakes are far more interesting than perfection.

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