New Year = New Sketchbook
I didn't plan to start the new year with a new sketchbook. In fact, I've been struggling a bit with sketchbooks this past year, making things perfect has always been a stumbling block for me, so sketchbook practice is just what I need, right? But, there was also the fact that I just wasn't getting excited about any particular book that I saw. And I was having difficulty keeping the one I have going because although I altered it to be more to my liking, I am just not in love with it. Since our local independent art supply store closed its doors three years ago, gone are the days of that wonderful serendipity of wandering the aisles to find something unexpected and wonderful. And order on line just isn't quite the same as holding something in your hand and enjoying the smell of the paper and the subtle color and texture of the pages.
However, I happy to report that art supply serendipity isn't dead! Recently, and on a whim while ordering other supplies from John Neal, I ran across the Mahara watercolor journal. I wasn't really paying attention except that it was watercolor paper. It's delightfully larger than I expected, and I didn't expect to like that, but I do! Haven't been quite this excited about a sketchbook in a while, but it would be difficult for any artist, I think not to get excited about this sketchbook filled with handmade watercolor paper from India. Just yummy!
It turns out the book is divided into poems where the poet thinks the song of the nightingale is happy and those who find it sad. Hmmm... So I was hooked. I read each poem and decided at the end I would then look up the song of the nightingale (easy thanks to You Tube, despite not living on the continent where they reside) and make up my own mind. Now the poetry was a solid 50/50 split. I loved as many happy nightingale poems as I did sad ones, so I was left with a blissfully uninfluenced mind as I listened to the song of the nightingale for the first time in my life.
Alas, I must disagree with Dear Mr. Keats, I find the nightingale's song quite happy and would be more than pleased should I find one making a home in my garden and serenading me each evening. And Rumi agrees, thus my work here. But decide for yourself!