On March 24th I joined the hoards of people here in Concord for the ‘March For Our Lives’. I had a great place to stand, leaning against the statue of Daniel Webster in front of the NH State House, and I sketched and painted while listening to one eloquent student after another speak passionately about the need for changes to gun laws in America. I was glad that my tissues were as accessible as my pens and pencils. It was a powerful morning.
The State House Plaza was packed with people elbow to elbow, and I quickly realized that the handwoven neck pouch that held my tools was even more helpful than usual because there was very little room to move in the crowd.
A bit of history:
I bought this pouch during my trip to Japan in 2005, when I was preparing to open my SAORI weaving business (FreedomWeavers Studio) which I ran from 2006 until 2013. I closed the Studio for financial reasons, but I knew that another form of creative expression would soon surface. Sure enough, on April 4th, 2014 the very first Sketchbook Skool class was launched, and a whole new approach to drawing, sketching, and painting awaited me. Life has not been the same since.
Back to the present: So after I walked home from the rally on March 24th, it dawned on me that if the art pouch had been so useful for me, it might be a valuable solution for other artists / urban sketchers. Traveling light while sketching is vital: the challenge is always, “How few tools can I bring with me sketching and still feel I have everything I really need.” (More on that in a post later this week.)
Based on my experience at the march (and knowing I had a stash of my own handwoven fabric left over from my weaving studio), I pulled out my 1949 Singer sewing machine and began designing my first batch of 27 art pouches. No two alike, each with their own personality, and priced at $20 each so that hopefully even the most starving of artists can afford one. (I will be sharing photos of the full selection soon, with an email link if you would like to own one.)
Important Note: These art pouches were created to support your analog habit, not your digital one: they are intentionally too small for a cell phone. These “Look at That!”™ Art Pouches are named after the first class I taught at my local art school. The name says it all really. My mission is to help people see what I see, and gasp at the beauty that surrounds us every moment of every day. A late afternoon shadow tumbling down a stairwell, an irregular crack in the sidewalk, a dandelion pushing up through the sandy remains of a snow bank, all these things are worth a second glance.
If it is worth seeing, it is worth sketching. Look at That!