I've been doing a lot more sketching recently. It's a lot to do with my youngest getting bigger and needing to take less stuff when we're out and about. The bigger the baby, the smaller the bag!
But it's also been a response to my need to get back to basics. I've been really yearning to simplify my life in so many ways, in order to achieve higher quality in what I do put my energy into. I've spent too long feeling like I'm spread too thinly.
In addition to this I find the news really affects me on a deep emotional level, especially learning about what is happening to our planet. I've found it grounding and comforting to spend more time outside, using sketching to really absorb the landscape. Nature really is the best tonic.
It's good for me and great for my work to get back to basics. Sketching is such an important foundation for painting, as the mark making is so free and in tune with the experience of being outside.
It also helps me to work more quickly and without overthinking, something I've found challenging since having my second child.
The sketchbook is a place for real artistic feedom, and although it's usually a private place, I think it's nice to share some of the gems with you!
If you'd like to see more of my sketchbook as it gets filled, follow me on Facebook or Instagram, as I've started posting sketches on my 'stories' feed.
Getting back to basics is good for a sense of wellbeing, but it is also good for the planet too.
We're lucky to have a milkman service here in North Devon, and we've been getting milk delivered in real old school glass bottles every Monday morning.
The kids absolutely love it! It's their job to carry the bottles into the house and onto the kitchen table, a simple task which they revel in!
My eldest is well aware of the plastic pollution problem and knows that this is one of the ways that we are helping to reduce it.
And a couple of weeks ago my youngest 'helped' me to make a plastic-free play dough gift and card for a friend's baby who was celebrating her first birthday.
I saw the play-doh in the supermarket and was so close to buying it. But it had three plastic pots all wrapped up in plastic celophane, and I'd been meaning to make some home made play dough anyway.
Not wanting to buy the plastic coated stuff prompted me to buy the (mostly plastic-free) ingredients, and enjoy a wholesome, albeit very messy play dough making session with my two year old. Quality time and a plastic-free present!
I don't find it easy to make these choices when time and energy are at a premium, but found that by making a hand-made present I also made some lovely memories, and that's something you really can't put a price on.
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Amy Jobes, North Devon artist with a passion for the environment
"If you truely love nature, you will find beauty everywhere" - Van Gogh