What’s on Projects #CreativeConnections The Sketchbook Project The Sketchbook Project is a series of visual diaries that artist Karen Stone will create in this time of Covid-19. The sketchbooks are to record happenings in Karen's day-to-day life that occur as a direct result of the physical distancing and isolation restrictions that have been required. Sketchbook 1: Cottage Garden Bouquet The Cottage Garden Bouquet sketchbook is a recording of that gift of flowers, their beauty representing the fact that it is possible, even in these times of ugliness, to be both surprised and flattered by an unexpected present. The initial sketchbook is hand made using a concertina design. This has the ability to be used in a traditional sense, page by page, or using a number of pages together to create a long landscape. The completed sketchbook can also be flattened out to create a patchwork of images and an abstract design in itself. Once a sketchbook is completed then an overall art piece can be made that represents the concept. The final piece shown on the right above is a large watercolour on Two Rivers 400gsm rough watercolour paper measuring 790 mm (31”) wide by 570 mm (22” high). In the piece I have taken specimens from the sketchbook effectively isolating them from the bunch, representative both of the fact that in isolation beauty can become more defined and simple pleasures remain in times of hardship. Sketchbook 2: Basil the terrier The sketches were taken from both life and photographs (as he cannot keep still). The one of him running is from memory - he is very fast! Sketchbook 3: dancers The dancers sketchbook was inspired by Zoom dance/keep fit classes offered on line by Dancefest. The book is based on the first dance delivered from the lovely Lis Winter, from Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. Costume added by the artist. Overall piece The work represents this time in lockdown and isolation with fear of Covid-19. It is a still life and brings together the thoughts from the artists sketchbooks and how art has been used to represent society in history. The Sketchbook Project is really easy for anyone to take part in. All you need to do is record life as it is, for you, in isolation via photos, sketches, notes, anything you choose. Instructions for making a simple sketchbook, like the ones Karen uses, can be found on Karen's website but you can record on anything.