Various Thoughts At The End Of The Year

This post will seem a bit disorganized.  That’s cuz it’s a bit disorganized, or at least my thoughts about it are disorganized.  But I want to wrap up the year by talking about a couple things and I’ll throw in a sketch just to keep it interesting.

Stillman & Birn source for Canadians

Lots of people have asked me where to buy Stillman & Birn sketchbooks in Canada.  Sadly, Canadian suppliers are simply horrible when it comes to fulfilling the needs of urban sketchers and none of them are a reliable source for S&B sketchbooks.  Even, who list them, do so at such ridiculous prices that nobody in their right mind would pay that for them.

Thus, I’ve never had an answer to give to those asking about S&B, until now.  I realized that Jackson Art Supplies in the UK has them… the entire S&B product line.  And what’s good about Jacksons is that they, like several UK online sellers, “get it.”  By that I mean they’ve figured out that if they sell to 7 billion of the Earth’s inhabitants, they are better off than selling only within their country.  If only the US would figure this out.  Anyways, Jackson Art Supplies will ship ANYWHERE for FREE if you buy 39GBR or more from them.  I’ve ordered from them a couple times and they’re great to deal with so if you want S&B, there’s a place where you can get them.

(ed note:  Susan King just informed me that Opus Art in Vancouver is not stocking the full line of Stillman & Birn softcovers which is really good news.)

New Year’s Resolution???

I’m probably notorious for doing a bah humbug when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions and each year I say as much in a blog post.  This year I won’t do that because, I guess, in a casual way, I’m making a resolution.

I’ve decided to talk more about my drawing process on the blog.  I’ve avoided that thus far because I don’t really know what I’m doing and a lot of other people are much better equipped than I when it comes to discussing drawing.  But I’ve realized that I have something they don’t.  Because I’m relatively new to this I’m able to remember the kinds of struggles I had when I started.  Besides I know what I do more than anyone else and that’s what people ask me about.  I don’t know how or what I’m going to talk about and I don’t know when. I just hope to do it.  See…it’s just like a resolution 🙂

Turning the page to 2017

I’m finishing up two more sketchbooks so I can start with a couple new ones in 2017.  I still have an Stillman and Birn 8.5×5.5 with about 15 pages left so that one will drift into 2017 but I’ll be starting new 8×10 Beta and 3.5×5.5 Alpha softcover books.

I did a bunch of small sketches to finish up the little one and I have one page left in the larger one.  There’s a guy on Instagram that does a lot of loose motorcycle sketches and he really impresses me with his simplicity of line and confidence of purpose.  I’ve tried to replicate some of his sketches but have never been successful.  I decided to draw a motorcycle from memory of his sketches.  The result isn’t as good as his and not nearly as loose, but that’s how Larry rolls after all.  And yes, I’m now talking about myself in the third person.  If it’s good enough for Trump, shouldn’t it be good enough for me?

I’m anxious to get started with 2017 sketching and I hope the year ahead is a productive and happy one for all of you.

Stillman & Birn Beta (8×10), Platinum 3776


9 thoughts on “Various Thoughts At The End Of The Year

  1. Thanks, Larry, for your blog. Good news! Opus Art Supplies in Vancouver is now stocking S & B softcover journals. They sell online also.

    • Wowy, zowie! That’s really good news Susan. I’m glad you mentioned it. I just went there and then contacted them, thanking them for stocking them and telling them about an error in their listings 🙂 Really good news. Thanks — Larry

  2. Excellent! Am really looking forward to reading about your process. I have a hard time articulating mine most of the time, so it will be very interesting to read about yours.


    • Hee hee… I’m probably in the same boat as you, Tina. I know the steps I take, sometimes, but the whys and wherefores are harder to explain. Why I can’t get better results may never be explained 🙂

  3. Hi Larry! Thanks for the info about Stillman and Birn. I had been getting mine through Curry’s, but not only did they not carry all types/sizes, but it seems they have now completely stopped carrying S&B.

    I’m wondering if you have had any issues with customs and owing anything extra, and also how long the shipment takes to arrive from the UK?

    • Yes, I’m not sure what’s happening at Curry’s but it doesn’t look good. I went to Toronto last summer with the intention of buying a bunch of S&B and other stuff and walked out of two Curry’s stores without a thing because their shelves were empty. Not sure what that means. I did find hardcovers at Above Ground, though.

      I no longer care. If the Canadian suppliers don’t find it in their interest to support the sketching revolution, I can go elsewhere and the UK seems to be the place. They truly have figured out that there is a world market and they’re trying to serve it. I’ve only ordered from Jackson’s twice but haven’t paid any customs fees. Same can be said for Book Depository UK, which also ships free (no minimum) and I’ve switched most of my book orders from to them. I’ve also ordered from Rosemary Brushes, which is an amazing place, with amazing products.

      As for ship times, it normally takes about a week to get stuff from the UK to Quebec. Somehow Rosemary got some brushes to me in three days. In any case, North American sellers had better wise up or they’re going to lose their customer base.

      Cheers — Larry

  4. Wyndham Art Supply in Guelph Ontario carries a full line of S&B and ships all over our fair land at resonable rates. They have carried S&B fir several years now. They are readily searchable in the Internet and have a toll free order number. 🙂

    • If they have them, and they do have a picture of the softcovers, you cannot order them from their website. Sometimes web developers become two smart by half and that seems the case here. You can’t choose ‘8×10’ format; you can’t choose ‘softcover’ and thus you can’t order an 8×10 Beta softcover. Same is true for any softcover for the simple reason that you there is no option for ‘softcover.’ So, it might work for those of you in Guelph, but not the rest of Canada.

Comments are closed.