Farewell Exacompta Sketchbook I

 Exacompta Sketchbook I, 2009-2011

I had always been a one journal person and had everything from shopping lists to diary entries in some chronological order.  Somewhere in the last two years that habit got sidelined and I have had several different journals in my bag, on my desk or on the dining room table.

I've been working toward a consolidation as I really prefer "one" journal at a time.

It was difficult to let go of the Canteo and now harder still to place the Exacompta sketchbook into the bookcase.  On and off, since July of 2009, it has served me as a place to test materials, write notes, even test a watercolour concept.

The laid paper is heavy enough to take wet media.  It is nearly a perfect book.  Its only liability is that the paper is not uniform on both sides.  Somehow the front and back of the paper are bound opposite each other.   It hasn't affected my use much as I wasn't doing "double" page sketches, but it might become more annoying if I want to in Sketchbook II.

This particular sketchbook opened up a place for some painful and joyous memories, and the first drawing I made was about an accident I had in 2001.

This week I painted an apple, a study and part of the instructions in my Eden botanical course.

 Pink Lady apple, New Zealand, 
Kremer pigment watercolour, 
Exacompta Sketchbook 2009-2011

Many of my previous entries in this sketchbook have been colour tests of various materials-- pencils, pens and watercolours.  It is fascinating how one french ultramarine differs from another, and how pigments from different manufacturing plants come out uniquely their own with pleasing variations in hue and value.

Vintage Daler Rowney portable metal watercolour palette
Sennelier Bijou watercolor palette

I haven't selected a new journal yet, but I am using a Stillman and Birn Alpha 5-1/2 x 8-1/2-sketchbook for the preliminary sketches for the Eden coursework.


  1. I'm really interested in trying a Stillman and Birn notebook. I've thought that when my current Quo Vadis Habana and Moleskine watercolor books are filled I will try one. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts on it if you decide to work with one.

  2. Marie, I just tested the paper on the Stillman & Birn sketchbooks and will post a review shortly. I like them.

  3. Hi, i randomly met your blog and i was so impressed. I'm not an art expert but i can feel an awesome job you've done here!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I see you are in Iran but don't seem to have a blog.

  4. This is my blog address: