What’s In Your Sketchbook?

January 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

To be fair, I’ll include a few pages from my own. But here’s the thing with me and sketchbooks: I don’t have an “official” sketchbook.

In truth, any piece of paper within arm’s reach qualifies as a drawing surface. As a result, my doodles and sketches and moments of brilliant insight are strewn about like ashes on a sea. Maybe that’s not such a good analogy. Maybe a dandelion in the wind. Whatever. For all my sense of orderliness, a regular sketchbook falls into a much looser category.

The point though, is that sketchbooks can be truly lovely, as can be seen via the traveling Sketchbook Project. Or in the lush genius of the 2010 publication of Street Sketchbookrecently shared by Brain Pickings (a terrific site with an ongoing must-see collection of wonderful stuff).

Clearly, sketchbooks have been elevated to works of art in and of themselves, and I think, rightly so.

My first sketchbook seduction came from Peter Beard’s marvelous diaries in The Adventures And Misadventures of Peter Beard In Africa. Deliciously detailed and jam-packed with words, illustrations and photos, newsprint and objects, the end-product of his runaway artistic sensibilities, his passion for form and love for Africa was occasionally disturbing, but always stunning.

peter beard

from Peter Beard's collage-work diaries

from Peter Beard's collage-work diaries

By comparison to Beard, or the fantastic pages of Street Sketchbook, my own pages seem tame, bordering on dull. (Except for the random game of hangman.)

But I know, and you now know too, that I haven’t made a ritual of keeping a sketchbook, nor sketched with the intent for those pages to become a final, messy, glorious product. I’d like to someday, so I’ll add it to my list …. in the meantime, the important thing is simply to sketch.

Draw. Write. Cut. Paste. Thoughts, ideas, dreams; record them by hand. It’s a wonderful process – whether in a book meant for sketching, or on the back of a cereal box, or the edge of a client proposal …   express yourself.

So ~ what’s in your sketchbook?


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§ 2 Responses to What’s In Your Sketchbook?

  • John says:

    You know… i do the same thing.. my sketchbook is a random corner of a napkin from the coffee shop… or a useless page from the newspaper.. i’ve even taken a snapshot of a subtractive drawing i did with katsup and a french-fry. Most recently though my sketchbook has been my hard-drive.. I’ve so many different ideas and “sketches” sitting on my HD that being able to find things is way easier.. **of course it takes a while to organize properly**..
    Its hard to put down the pen sometimes and crawl out to post around the web but you just gave me a fantastic idea Pat… (& I’ll have to chat with you about it soon.)
    ~the quietest Grasshopper~


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