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An Artist's Sketchbook

There is a shelf in my living room where I keep around 30 sketchbooks, years ranging from the 1980s to present. Each one is filled cover to cover with thoughts, emotions, awful attempts, damn good drawings, and feverous efforts to get those fleeting great ideas on paper before they are lost forever. Sketchbooks are where an artist can hone their skills, work out the kinks for new pieces of art, and get out of their comfort zone without fear of being criticized. Mistakes are accepted and even valued to help the change and growth process. Let's face it - change can be hard, messy, difficult, and painful. But for an artist, the sketchbook allows for artistic change to happen without too much discomfort or commitment.

Sketchbooks are not intended for public viewing; they are hallowed ground for the artist’s most inner thoughts and ideas. Viewing a sketchbook gives you a rare look into an artist’s mind, soul, and heart where the purest art is created.

It is true that practice makes perfect. I am quite proud of this month’s drawings. My June sketches almost filled up the once partially used sketchbook from the 90s. As I thumb through the pages, I can see improvements in drawing the human figure in motion. Even the pages that are a collage of mindless scribbles and doodles come together into a cohesive piece. That is the process – changing and growing until it all makes sense. When I see progress in my drawings or paintings it is infectious. I want to do and learn more. 

I’m working on several ideas which will incorporate the new drawing and painting techniques I have been practicing. But I will always go back to that shelf to look at sketchbooks from the past - they continue to inspire future art projects and help me grow as an artist.

Click the image below to see all of my June drawings.

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