Se7en Sketchbook Projects in the Mailbag…

For the last se7en years we have loved playing along with the Sketchbook Project in New York… The project is a global art project, where folk from all over the world sign up to receive a sketchbook that they fill with artwork and then mail back to the Brooklyn Art Library… it is the kind of project that you feel a little bit daunted by to begin with and then once you start you love it so much that you join in every single year.


We usually order our sketchbook a couple of months before the “mail by this date” date… and then it arrives a few weeks later, all crisp and fresh and blank.


We think and ponder about which theme to choose for ages and then for even more weeks ruminate about how we are going to fill our sketchbook.


Then all sorts of collage goodies get tossed on the table… little bits of useful goodies: sweetie wrappers, strings, fabric scraps, watercolours, markers… all sorts of things and we begin to work and to create a book.


Heaps of cutting and gluing goes on, while meals get later and later and laundry literally piles up…


In the end we have a book to show for it… that we mail back to the library as fast as we can. I know, all that work to ship it away and never see it again, but that is the magic of it… other folk on the far side of the world get to visit your notebook and read it and enjoy it. This years theme was Underwater and this is a peek inside our Sketchbook for 2018.

Se7en’s 2018 Sketchbook: Underwater

Sea Salt and Caramel locally made chocolate seemed like the most appropriate cover of our book.

The theme shouted ocean to us, but a lot of our time spent underwater is just washing dishes… even in the midst of Cape Town’s hardest hitting drought in years… where dish washing has become something a little less routine.

One of our kids has a shell collection that looks like this… it seemed like a good page to dream about underwater.

And our favourite exhibition at the Two Oceans Aquarium, by far, is the jellies.

And then one evening it was too windy to go for our usual evening walk along the seaside, and we had to go for a wander in the wetlands instead… and then we remembered all the pond life that is underwater.

And whale season is close, from May to October every year, whales visit our coastline and what a splendid site that is.

Something we used to take for granted… time under water in the bath tub… I don’t think anyone in Cape Town has taken a bath in the last two years… a serious drought can bring a city together like that.

And after winter comes summer and after two summers without any water in our swimming pool, we can certainly dream about summer days and splashing in the pool. This spread is peeping into the pool through the grating.

There is something for everyone to explore under the ocean.

We decided to look up salty facts for this page.

When last did you think about a great big beautiful coral reef? and all the wonderfully beautiful wildlife hidden inside?

We are passionate about turtles and the supporting the Two Oceans Aquarium Turtle Rehabilitation Program… there is everything to love about turtles.

And the kelp garden is one off our favourite spots in the Aquarium to sit and take a breather and draw.

Don’t forget how our ocean is suffering and without our help we have a tremendous problem on our hands. As Sylvia Earle says, “No Blue, No Green.”

I like the idea of treasure underwater… but there is a little conundrum here… is the actual treasure in the chest or the shark? ‘cos we would all like to go diving with sharks.

Unexpected rain fell on the skylight while we were working… when rain was predicted and we only got a little spots of rain, sigh.

Nothing like surfing to make you love the ocean… know the ocean to love the ocean.

And finally, we recently discovered, after a lifetime of living at the seaside, how magical snorkelling and rock pooling is. And all too soon our sketchbook was done.


Previous Sketchbooks

Click on the link below the image and it will take you into that sketchbook

se7en - 310316 - 0679.jpg
2016: Se7en’s Diary…

se7en - 310315 - 0086.jpg
2015: The Before and After Book…

2014: The King’s Finder…

2013: Se7en+1’s Travelogue…
(So excited that this sketchbook was featured on the Sketchbook Project’s instagram account!!!)

2012: Se7en+1’s Companion Book…

2011: A Day in the Life…

And that’s us, until next year…

2 Replies to “Se7en Sketchbook Projects in the Mailbag…”

  1. So incredibly beautiful! I’d love to take a time machine into the future and watch you or your hoods finding your books in NY one day.

  2. Wow Debbie… what an idea!!! Can you imagine… why have I never thought of that, totally puts NEW YORK on the map for us!!! Have a fun weekend!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *