Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Heard of The Sketchbook Project?
I know some of you have, as I've seen links to it on your blogs ;)

Well I sent off for my blank sketchbook last June, so it will be of no great suprise to any of you that I started it 2 weeks before the 31/1/12 postal deadline. HAHAHAHA!

I actually completed it.

I abandon- through sudden and distinct lack of interest- so many things half way through (that scarf I was crocheting for Dad's Christmas present stopped half way through - keep it till I finish it, or send it and tell him to wear it lying down? What do you think?).... so I am amazed and pleased that I actually got this done.

The project, based in Boston, sent out nearly 20,000 sketchbooks, and from April all the ones returned to them will form a sketchbook tour round the USA and then Melbourne and London.

I opted to also have my sketchbook digitised so it will soon be available to see online. I'll put the link on here when it's done.

Till then, I took some photo's of it. See what you think.

You had to pick a theme, and my choice was "Along The Line".

My thoughts were that my life is lived along a line of peaks and troughs caused by bi-polar, and the sketchbook described what it this is like....

Here's the cover.
I painted it in white gesso, which I thought would accept any media on top, but it didn't like my pen or my watercolours. So I peeled some of it off and drew a picture in the gap left. I like it. Looks like a peep-through:

PAGE ONE & TWO- oops didn't copy these sorry ;) They said -

"Hello my name is Helena and I have Bi-Polar" and then,

"Notice I said I HAVE bi-polar, not I AM bi-polar. It is not what I am, it's like this......"

 "I am the ship... life is the sea..."

"...Bi-Polar is my co-pilot..."

I hope you like the little co-pilot 'black dog' shape!

THIS LINK will take to info about the 2013 tour. Registration starts in April. There is also a little video link you can click on to get general info on how the project works.



Jacqui said...

What a wonderful idea. I might try this with my son with our home education. Do they run this every year and how do you sign up as I have not heard of it before?
I hope that life is good at the moment apart from the cold! They seem to be doing the rounds in Colchester at the moment.

Angel and Kirby said...

That is very good! I would love to see all of it!

mrsnesbitt said...

WOW! I need something like this!

Eileen said...

Wonderful, Helena. Your sketches are so expressive and tell your story so well. I look forward to seeing the digitised version.

I like what you said, "Notice I said I HAVE bi-polar, not I AM bi-polar. It is not what I am, it's like this......"

That is a distinction I have failed to make about myself, but I'm glad to have learned it now. Thank you.

Found art blog said...

Actually I'm a lot like that - brilliant at starting stuff but not so good at finishing it!!! Love your sketchbook too.... well done you!!

Julie said...

Helena, what a fabulous piece of work and I'm sure it will strike a strong chord with many of the people who see it. Your artwork is excellent!

Timaree said...

Wow! I'd say this is genius! Terrifically done. I wonder if it could be made into a book for young people to learn what bi-polar is like. I mean, its already a book but not a published one. You did a great job on both the illustration and the story. Have you looked into digitalizing it through Amazon or do your rights to it go to the project?

Sorry I've been gone so long; I was a bit down and not doing anything at all for a while. I am happy to see this now that I am back.

Helena said...

I've put some details on your blog comments about this year's project, but yes, I think it would be a great home-ed thing to do!


ANgel & Kirby,
Thanks, er, this was nearly all of it! LOL! I enjoyed it, specially the doodly bits, it was so relaxing to do.


Mrs Nesbitt
HULLO! I hope you didn't get snowed in up there! The sketching was very therapeutic, I recommend it :)



I'mglad if what I wrote helped at all. THANK YOU for your lovely email, which I promise I will answer fully soon. I didn't want to wriet whilst tired out from this bug; I want to be able to give it my full attention.


Beanie & A

I'mglad I'm not the only one! Thanks for the comments re the book that means alot!



It's v humbling to get such nice feedback from such arty people!



I keep the rights to it, so I suppose I could do that. I hadn't thought of that. Strange as I have been thinking about doing an e-book version of something I wrote many years ago for Christians with depression, a booklet that was used in ALpha groups and in prisons for a while. But I hadn't thought of it for this...

I'm sorry to hear you've been low.

Blog Princess G said...

Utterly moving and artful and beautiful.

Feronia said...

I am blown away by this, Helena - you have done such a brilliant job on it. I can seriously see this published.

Sandra (Stamping For Pleasure) said...

Totally amazing x

Stardust said...

I'm lost for words at how incredibly talented you are! I love the details and delicate touches in every stroke, you're truly an artist! Thank you, thank you for your beautiful card again and I'm so ashamed to come only now but things have been rather tight for me. Good news however! I may be able to log in more often because I'm having a new lap top and I'm free from all those old lappy's freezes. YAY!

I've missed ya, and please forgive me if I haven't been able to catch up on the past posts. All I know is that I'm so happy to see you posting still. I'm hoping that everything has been fine on your side, hugs..

Gea said...

Can't find the right words,
Your language is not mine...
But my heart tells me and now I tell you:
That your book is BEAUTIFUL and I love it!

A very big hug from me for you!