A friend asked me the other day: So how many sketchbooks do you think you’ve filled?
Hmmm…now there’s a question! I had been telling her how I began to sketch and draw FOR ITS OWN SAKE, a few years ago following a year and a half or so of not drawing or painting at all. Prior to that, I had been a selling/exhibiting/showing artist for almost 10 years when I hit the proverbial “wall”. My return to drawing was through the book, Ish by Peter Reynolds and through Danny Gregory’s books, Everyday Matters and The Creative License. I talk more about all that here and here, if you’re interested.
Prior to hitting the wall, sketchbooks were filled more with a final painting in mind. I thought of the books as a stepping stone to the “real thing”, the auditions for how the true art would take shape. Secretly, I loved my sketchbooks more than the final product. They seemed more intimate, more expressive, more passionate. After the long dry spell, and after reading the above mentioned books calling me to return to my first love, I began to keep sketchbooks as an end in themselves…as THE ART, the real thing. There are times when I sketch out a painting I have in mind, trying out values and colors, but 90% of the time, I draw and paint in these books with no thought that they will ever be anything other than what they are: drawings and sketches born out of my every day life.
Here are 13 of them…there are actually 5 or so more than what you see here. Those 5 (or so) are not yet finished, for one reason or another. The ones pictured here are all complete, every page filled with drawings, paintings, writings, etc. The one in the middle, May 2008 is the first one I began after reading Reynolds’ book Ish. It’s fun to look back through them at how I
worked played in them…they began very ish-like with simple writings as to what was going on that day. Several of the recent ones, have very little writing in them at all. But I can recall exactly where I was that day, what I was thinking, feeling, etc. The colors and lines bring it all back. Taking this inventory here has made me want to pull out all my other sketchbooks from BEFORE. Perhaps I’ll post some of those sketches as well…it will be a fun trip down memory lane.