I love looking at sketchbook videos.
Maybe its the compact richness of the books or the unpolished nature of the work inside, or that, through a private almost meditative method of working, more of the artist’s personality comes through. I find them inspiring.
Last week I finished the sketchbook I began in April 2014. Most of the drawings have been posted on this blog before, but never in the context of an image on a page or within a sequence of work. I do keep a smaller sketchbook that I carry to work with me and I have a tendency to draw on any scrap of paper at hand, which does slow down the filling of a book, but even so, it’s the quickest I’ve ever gone through one of these books. Maybe the new one will go even faster! Art school students are required to fill one every semester. Now that’s an aspiration…
I hope you enjoy this video, whether for insight or inspiration. The music is Strings and Blips by Adam Selzer (2015).
Time to look back at a year of drawing. I spent yesterday compiling this video, complete with soundtrack, courtesy of Josh Woodward. It’s really beautiful and adds feeling to the random, mostly chronological succession of sketches. It’s a great exercise though, this compiling thing, because it helps me to see a year’s effort in a flash.
I keep a rough count in my sketchbooks as the year goes by, and 2014 came in at about 1049 drawings, substantially more than last year, which I was not expecting. The burnout and depression of late summer really slowed me down. When I look back, there’s was more joy and excitement last year, I think; more ambition and determination this year. 2014 was also the first full year of daily drawing. I wonder what 2015 will bring?
In addition to getting a few thousand words this week toward my current writing project, I also had a variety of drawing and painting opportunities. To the usual fashion sources, I added a study of Braque, David Levine and Jamie Hewlett, some new to me, some less so. In the week ahead, I’d like to continue to paint when I can, but also return to pen and ink. I was looking through some ink drawings in an old sketchbook this morning and was struck by the pure, dense black of the ink. I want to play with that again.
Another incentive to more work was my greater participation in Adam Wiebner’s Twitter page @Draw2Live. Adam curates a collection of posted drawings by a variety of artists, which lately has been sparking some lively conversations. Talking about my work and interests with the others there on Twitter makes me feel engaged in a real community. The feedback is such a motivator! It’s been 4 months now since I decided to start drawing again and it has been every day since then, and every day I want to do it more and more. I’m very excited. I just wish there were more hours in the day…
I started this little experiment with media in my new Hand-Book sketchbook 2 weeks ago and only got a chance to finish it tonight. The sketch is of a former colleague at an architecture firm where I worked in 2006; here, reduced almost to a cartoon. I tried out watercolor, Prismacolor markers and colored pencil.
I haven’t done anything in watercolor in ages, so it was fun to get absorbed in it again, trying to get the feel for layering washes, wet vs dry, color mixing and all of that. Some spots are a muddy mess, but there are moments that aren’t bad and the paper held up pretty well for a sketchbook. The markers bleed through but handle well, and I’m not fond of the paper texture for the colored pencil; ideally, I’d want a smoother surface. Now to incorporate some of these things into my daily practice!
I have been able to keep up with my daily sketch outings pretty well this last week, with the usual good and bad days, fine sketches and ugly ones, but added to that has been a new desire to branch out into new media. One of the recurring criticisms I received back in my art class days was that I never pushed myself far or hard enough. One of the reasons for that, which I never confessed to my teachers, if I even knew it then, was that I hate to fail. HATE. IT. But I’m getting used to the rhythm of good and bad days, fine and ugly sketches–even in the bound pages of the sketchbook, God forbid!–and find myself far more comfortable with making a mess. So I’m pushing… playing a little maybe. And two months into this experiment, I think the results are good.
Watercolor and colored pencil drawing from my sketchbook. Inspired by the makeup for the Chloe SS 2013 show.
Absence makes…what? It makes us forget.
Trying to keep it all going…the writing is coming on with an amazing character who is taking over a good portion of my brain…what he’s going to end up doing (what I call plot) I am not sure, but he is definitely up to something… conflicted characters in over their heads… mean writer that I am (what I call having fun). Trying to get back to my reading program, too. I’ve been a terrible slacker. Anticipating another great story edit and so am immersing myself in Merlin, the better to grok her fic. Charming so far…
Glad to be back.
Another weird day…
Finally got a contract job, but it was cancelled an hour later, so I sort of drifted through the afternoon. I found an image that caught my eye, started sketching it beside that bold portrait painting I pasted in a while back (wish I knew who the artist was), then creating my own fantasy version of it. Add the little Degas–black massing vs. detail of face and hands, costume in art–then added a few notes from the book I’m reading. Voilà la page!