Last week, I had an opportunity to spend a few days at a sketching retreat at the Holy Cross Monastery along the Hudson River. I'd long admired the monastery when painting across the river at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde park. When my friend Melissa Fischer organized a sketching retreat there, I jumped at the chance to go and explore the grounds, and immerse myself in my sketchbook. I had just hung a big solo show, which had taken me away from sketching for awhile. It felt great to get out there in the chilly fall air, amidst some beautiful colors and scenes.
I made this sketchbook specifically for the retreat. It's made out of a single full sheet of watercolor paper, cut into thirds and then folded. I figured it would give me just the right number of pages to fill in a few days. I had just one page left in it when I returned, so it worked out perfectly! This is Fabriano Artistico Cold Press 140 lb paper. Most of the sketches are watercolor. There is one monochrome gouache sketch across a three-page spread, and a pencil sketch of an old oak tree that became a sort of Rite of Passage for all the sketchers there!