Let Your Mind Wander in a Meander Sketchbook!

With so much going on in the world today, sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on working on a “serious” piece of art. By serious, I suppose I mean something that is going to be a finished or complete project; something that you are going to show others, hang in your home, or sell.

Right now, my mind is all over the place, so I’ve turned to my Meander Sketchbook, where I just play with colours, using any or all of my supplies. For these, I’ve chosen not to paint anything specific, but instead I’m painting completely non-objective, or what some call abstract. These paintings are just for me, so there is no pressure to do a “good job”!

It was a few years ago at a meetup with some watercolour painting buddies that my friend Charlene McGill demonstrated how to make a Meander Sketchbook (also called an accordion book). They are very easy to make, and if you use good watercolour paper, they make really nice sketchbooks that you can take with you when you go out plein air painting.

Experiment and Play!

However, I decided that these would make really cool books to just experiment with. You could use any kind of paper, but I decided to stay with a nice, fairly heavy watercolour paper as it holds up to a lot of abuse! You can also add a cover on the front and back by gluing a hard cardboard or similar on the end pieces. I had decorated my covers by gluing collage paper on top, but then ended up painting over that too!

I’ve made two of these books so far, and today I finished the first half of the second book. For these, I use two pages for each painting, but you can do a painting on each section and have up to 32 paintings in each book. This is the page I completed today. (maybe… I usually go back and add more!) As you can see, I added everything under the sun. But what fun!

Scroll down to the very bottom of this post for directions on how to make your own Meander Sketchbook!

Lots of fun!
Here is the whole book unfolded. One side completed!
This is the other side. You can see the covers on each end. Also, I drew some meandering lines for loose prompts to help me get started.
All folded back up, nice and compact.
Obviously,I don’t know how to make a fancy illustration with my computer!
If you have questions, leave a comment below and I’ll try to clarify.

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