My 2021 Sketchbook

At the beginning of 2023, I posted my 2022 “sketchbook” (i.e. all my paintings of 2022, whether they were actually in a sketchbook or not). For completion’s sake, I decided to go back in time and do 2021. This is the year I started painting, so I can’t go back any further than that!

It’s a trip to look back through these two years later, because I have such specific memories associated with each one!

By the Numbers

I started painting in March 2021. Here’s how many paintings I have from each month. (This may not be complete – these are just the ones I saved.) Fall is when things really started to take off!

  • March – 5
  • April – 4
  • May – 3
  • June – 1
  • July. – 1
  • August – 1
  • September – 1
  • October – 9
  • November – 14
  • December – 16


March 2021

I started watercolor in this month! My partner gifted me a set of Cotman watercolors for my birthday, in December 2020, after hearing me talk for months about how much I liked watercolor art and wondered if it would be hard to do. It took me three months to get up the courage to actually paint! It helped that I’d signed up for a galaxy night sky class with Shelby Thayne for mid-March, so I had to open my paints before that. Once I got started, I kept going!

It was from Shelby that I learned the trick of working the same painting twice on two different clipboards.

All of my paintings from March through June inclusive were done on a Fluid 100 4″ square block (after the first one which was done on unsuitable paper, iirc).

April 2021

Another Shelby Thayne class, and miscellaneous experiments.

May 2021

June 2021

July 2021

I have a distinct memory of getting out my paints for the first time in awhile after moving house to do this delicate arch. This was the first page in my first Etchr Perfect Sketchbook!

Delicate Arch. July 31, 2021.

August 2021

Another month where I haven’t saved many paintings, though I think I was making stuff. Maybe mostly swatches.

Beach After Storm. August 22, 2021 (in Etchr Perfect Sketchbook).

September 2021

I really liked this one.

Heron Sunset (on Arches Cold Press.) September 26, 2021.

October 2021

In October I started painting a lot more! I also started taking on more ambitious projects. Mostly I worked from random inspiration photos from Instagram, Unsplash, etc.

November 2021

I started learning from two online teachers that would come to be very important to me: I joined Claire Giordano’s Adventure Art Academy, and I did Kolbie Blume’s 10-Day Painting the Wilderness Challenge!

December 2021

As soon as I finished the 10-Day Challenge, I picked up Kolbie’s book, Wilderness Watercolor Landscapes; I also joined Kolbie’s Exploring Watercolor 101 class. This is also when I started this blog!

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