Copyright Notice

© Copyright 2019, Brenda Swenson retains copyrights to all artwork. All images on this site are property of Brenda Swenson and may not be used in any way for commercial, financial or personal without prior written consent. All Rights Reserved for republication (printed and digital) and anything but personal viewing of artworks on this site.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sketch Journal

Whenever I travel to distant lands I keep my sketchbook with me at all times. I take great care to record what I see through daily sketching and journaling. I treat each day with the greatest of regard. I sketch anything that catches my eye… street scenes, people, open markets, cathedrals, lunch at a cafe… Each night before I go to sleep I reflect upon the day and write in my sketchbook. A couple years ago I was doing the 75 Day Sketch Challenge (again) and I had a revelation. I was recording my travels as if they were more special than daily life. I may never see Prague, Berlin, Florence, and Carcassone again… but I definitely won’t see this day again.
It is our daily existence, the commons events that shape our life. When I look back over the years and reflect on what really mattered. I will look back with fondness to the places I have traveled and things I have seen but it is going to be the small moments that bring me the most joy…the face of someone I love, coffee with a friend, my home, garden, and even daily chores.
I hope I have inspired you to start sketching. Don’t hold creativity at bay until you think you’ll have more time, energy… Make today count!
Happy Sketching!


  1. Oh.... I love your paintings here. After admiring your paintings it was an added delight to read your reflections of sketching/painting in your life. I can relate to what you've expressed. Most of my sketching/painting is my everyday life or memories, but I hope to do some real travel sketching this year.

  2. Claire...words add so much! Sketch journals can be very powerful, healing...and a way to express ourselves.

  3. This is definitely inspiring. Thank you. I've suffered a long dry spell and I desperately need a kick in the pants to get going again. I tend to get stuck in the “starting mode”, not knowing where to start. Perhaps by sketching, I’ll want to progress to more formal paintings. I admire Claire (and know her as well) for her journaling pages and wish I had the same dedication. I just might have to take that 75 day challenge.

    By the way, Brenda, I have both of your books, and if you peruse my old blog long enough (, you’ll find I’ve done several exercises from your books. I love your painting style and wish I lived near enough to take one of your workshops. One day I’ll have to make the trek. If you ever offer any online classes, I’d be the first in line!

  4. Krista, Thank you for the note. We all suffer from periods of dry spells. The trick is not to dwell here too long. The 75 day sketch challenge may be just what you need. It is important to stick with pen for the challenge. You can get out watercolors but drawing is what the challenge is really all about.