Eileen Hennemann

In Christmas 2019 I received a unique and challenging gift. It was a custom, blank 5”x7”, 32-page sketchbook made by the Brooklyn Art Library. On the back cover there was a 6-digit number that made it unique to me.

Apparently I was to fill this book up with whatever creations I was moved to make.

At first I thought this was a cool idea and and then stopped dead in my tracks when I realized I had to come up with a theme, a cohesive topic, something meaningful, something that would flow from page to page. There are so many ideas out there, how does one pick!

Finally by spring I realized that I wanted to sketch what I know, and what I love, and that is Lanark County, where I live. Over a couple of months I sketched from photos, plein air at home or on a hike, from my kayak or in the quiet of my studio. Although the sketchbook paper was quite thin, I’d often use watercolour to enhance the sketches I made in ink.

Finally, on my birthday, I packaged up my sketchbook and mailed it back to the Brooklyn Art Library to be digitized for their online library and then physically filed in their art library. I must admit I miss my sketchbook. It was often on my mind as I pondered what location to paint next. I’ve done several of my own sketch journals since last summer, and usually with timelapse videos capturing the process. But the Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook was my first, and you know what they say about Firsts.

Beautiful Lanark County: https://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/S3967870

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