decided to go over to A4 sketchbooks rather than the
6 inch by 6 inch format that I've been using over the last couple of years.
It's partly because of a change in the format that I'm using for my published
work - from the chunky CD-size of my Sushi Sketchbooks to a
more spacious 234mm x 156mm (that's about 8¼ inches height by 6¼
inches across, so the double page spread is 12 ½ inches).
I'm looking forward to making the most of the new possibilities: I'd
like to give myself more time to explore a subject; either by being expansive
and drawing right across the spread or by including a series of smaller
drawings of different aspects of a subject across the page.
small National Trust organiser bag that I pack my small
sketchbook and art materials into has gone with me everywhere for the
last two years but it's nowhere near big enough for A4, so today while
Barbara and I are in Leeds we're dropping into every likely shop, searching
for a bag that's small and light enough to carry everywhere but big enough
to fit my A4 spiral bound Pink Pig sketchbook.
trying the indoor market, the Corn Exchange, a stationers, an art shop,
a designer shop, a department store, a sports shop and a couple of outdoor
stores we tried River Island, a fairly laid-back high
street fashion store, and found this frayed-looking canvas bag
(left) which fits the sketchbook perfectly, with enough room
in the front and inside pockets for a small range of pens and watercolours.
And perhaps a rather small sandwich and a bottle of water; but that would
be it; I've got larger rucksacks for days out hiking through the hills.
I wouldn't have gone for a bag with any kind of design on it but the
frayed-edged Victorian-looking tattoo design sewn onto the bag has the
words 'CREATIVE, ARTISTIC' emblazoned in block capitals on curly scrollwork.
So that's perfect.
Barbara's not so sure. The bag is artificially aged so that it looks
ragged and slightly faded: 'I could sew in that frayed edge on the strap,'
Mushrooms with spinach and melted raclette cheese and poulet Bretone
make a pretty perfect lunch at the Café Rouge.
Trees in Hunslet
Not so perfect is the experience of coming back from Leeds along the
M1 at rush hour. It's not so bad but I'm glad that my commuting these
days is in the other direction - via Penistone and the Strines to the
Peak District National Park.
I drew the trees at Low Road, Hunslet, as we waited in the showroom at
Bowett's Suzuki, while our car to have some work done on it for it's MOT
Richard Bell, email@example.com