Sketchbooks – not for me
I have a huge confession to make… I hate sketchbooks. I know I’m supposed to love them and all that they stand for… a record of my skills and artistic development. Memories of a year of good art to look back on and reflect, but the truth is, they just don’t suit my artistic process. My art arrives in my head, wiggles and squirms, until I give it life on the final resting place. There is no planning or composition in a sketchbook or on layout paper. If I’m organised, I put my intended colours along the sides of a reference photo in little blobs and that is the limit of my planning.
My hatred started in school, they forced sketchbooks upon us. Using it, sucked my ideas out of my head and onto a poor quality support. The results almost always disappointed me. Using sketches as references took some of the excitement out of the painting process because I knew exactly where I was going. I just had to grudgingly walk down the path I already set. The real magic somehow got lost along the way. The funniest thing was if I did have a miracle in that little book, the art teacher almost always cut it out! As the sketchbook got used day after day, the pages bent at the corners. I carried it everywhere. As it filled with pieces, ideas and collage, the pages no longer sat flat. The images warped and looked back at me like spoons. My first printing was done, unintentionally, between the pages of my first sketchbook before I learnt about leaving blank pages. It always seemed so wasteful.
For these reasons , I won’t be starting a sketchbook anytime soon. But if you are, I wish you nothing but luck! And remember you can always cut out the pages and mount them respectfully.