Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Vicarious Viewing...

Carol with my NYC Montage!

You may recall me mentioning the Art House Sketchbook Project once or a million times over the last few months.  Well, thanks to my participation in that project I have made some very lovely virtual friends, either as a direct result of seeing their work on the Art House website and commenting on it (such as with Alex, from Pencil Scribbles who does amazing portraits) or through Twitter (such as Accidental Vix who I first got to know when I bought a couple of her lovely cards on Folksy and then we would chat about the sketchbook project on Twitter and encourage each other to keep going when it seemed we would never finish it on time!)

Another lovely new online friend is Carol from New York who also completed a sketchbook for the project and I think I discovered her blog via a comment she left on Alex's blog - do you see how this whole blogging world just keeps on opening up!.  Carol's blog is called Carol King: Painting, Drawing, Complaining, she does some lovely watercolours and makes amazing coasters which I really want her to give me a step by step lesson in and her way with words makes me laugh.  I would love to be able to actually hear her recount some of her tales just so I could listen to the wonderful New York accent that I imagine she has!

Anyway, Carol contacted me the other day to say she was going to visit the Art House Gallery in Brooklyn with her husband, Matt, and she would look out for my sketchbook.  I was chuffed to bits therefore to receive my first email from the Art House to notify me that my book had been signed out for a viewing!!  Carol then emailed me to say how much they enjoyed looking through my sketchbook and she even took some photos of her and Matt with my sketchbook open at different pages!  She also kindly agreed to let me put the photos on here and also filled in all the blanks I had about what the exhibition was actually like.

Matt with my sketchbook at a Belfast page
So, the Brooklyn Art Library is a big long room with one wall entirely filled with bookcases which in turn are entirely filled with sketchbooks (28,839 to be exact!).  Unless you request a specific book, as Carol did with mine, then when you visit you just sign out a few randomly selected books - meaning it is pure luck as to whether or not my book will ever get selected again for the duration of the tour. Still, hope springs eternal.

Carol has been there a couple of times now and said the opening weekend was hectic and really busy with a big variety of folk from hipsters (being in a hipster neighbourhood) to families and kids coming in to view the sketchbooks.

The shelves behind Carol give an idea on
the multitude of sketchbooks to browse through!

Carol had a look at a good few sketchbooks and said that the diversity was incredible - I love that so many different people came up with so many different ideas on how to interpret the various themes.  She said that some were absolutely amazing and that one in particular was really quite bizarre as it was completely blank with just the words 'I'm Sorry' written on the first page!

I would so love to be able to go to the States and see the sketchbooks for myself but as that isn't possible, then I will make do with looking at the artwork from the sketchbooks which has been uploaded to the Art House website and am so very grateful to Carol for checking out my sketchbook and letting me view the gallery vicariously through her!

*Carol emailed me after I posted this with another great shot of the Brooklyn Art Library so I had to just add it in!

Hmm, I wonder where my sketchbook is?


  1. Interesting post...I didn't know about the Art House Gallery. How lovely for you to see your sketch book displayed.
    Thanks for sharing (-;

  2. Hi Nicola, Great post (especially since I was featured! haha)

    I wish you were able to go to the exhibit, you would have enjoyed just sitting and going through sketchbooks.

    Matt and I both really loved yours and were happy we had the opportunity to see it.

  3. Hi Nicola!
    I know that lady in the photos!...and "The Husband"! Excellent post. Carol keeps us all connected, doesn't she?
    Now, if you will excuse me, I'd like to take a look around your blog. Looks like a treasure trove at first glance!

  4. Hi Sugarplum, yes it was a really interesting project that, at the time i thought i would never complete but its so good to see my actual sketchbook in the hands of actual New Yorkers!

    Carol - what can I say - thank you so much for this!

    Leslie - So pleased to 'meet' you! Yes, Carol does seem to be the kevin bacon in six degrees of separation!! I have just had a look at your site - holy moly your work is beautiful and I love that you give step by steps to how you do things - I am mostly self taught and have so much to learn about how to get the best out of watercolour - I will be definitely spending more time on your site in the future!

  5. Hi Nicola, I am Carol's sister Alice, and I am meeting so many talented artists and virtual friends through her. Yes, she is indeed the Kevin Bacon of blog artists!

    Your work is wonderful! So beautiful, and with so much life and character.

    I did a sketchbook also and since I don't live in NYC, I wasn't able to go to the Brooklyn Art Library. I was SO excited when I got an e-mail saying someone had looked at my sketchbook and then I was Carol! I laughed and laughed. I, too, wonder what the chances are of anyone picking my sketchbook at random with more than 28,000 choices! Nonetheless, it is a wonderful project and I'm jealous that Carol has gone there a couple of times. Nice to meet you!

  6. Wow wow wow. How did I not know about this project. This is what happens when one lives in a cave lol.
    I have to make a trip up there and check this out. Thanks! (I'll be asking for yours).

  7. Nicola,
    I enjoyed going to the sketch book exhibit twice with Carol. Yes, I am the one labeled as "the Husband."
    I loved the theme of your book and the sketches were spectacular. Thank you for sharing the book with us.
    We chose subjects randomly to see what books we would get and it was fun seeing what people had submitted. Hopefully sometime you'll get a chance to see the exhibit in person rather than through Carol and myself.
    I love your "twisty" sketches!

  8. Hi Alice, are you the sister living out of the city that Carol referred to in her accidental camping post?! Its nice to meet so many people this way! Did you upload your sketches onto the art house website-if so I'd love to see them.

    Paper Squid, it was the wonders of the internet and discovering new blogs that I came to learn about it! I'd be delighted if you did check my book out if you get to the exhibition. Am not sure how long it stays in Brooklyn before it goes on to the next city on the list.

    Carol's husband! Thank you so much for your lovely comments and i'm looking forward to seeing Carol's take on a twisty town city scape she has in mind! You never know, if my lottery numbers come up, i'll be over to the States in a heartbeat to catch up with the exhibition wherever it happens to be!

  9. What an exciting project and I love that you're able to connect with others and they with you and your artwork overseas. How FANTASTIC is that?? If you win the lottery and turn up in the states, please let us know where. I'd love to show you around my town if you travel this far south!

  10. What a great way to look at your book again! Aren't Carol and Matt such sweethearts! They took a photo with my book as well, I have to post it soon. Now it will be my turn, I can't wait until the Sketchbook tour will make to Chicago so I would get my hands on your book! I will have to take photos as well - such a great idea :).


Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.


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