The Practice of Sketchbook Keeping

Recently we had a little flood in our basement. A forced cleansing of sorts, I had to go through my personal boxes stored there including old letters, yearbooks, a baby book compiled by my mother, photos as a child, you get the idea. I also had many boxes of things I moved from my art studio into the basement that I had forgotten about. One tub contained 38 sketchbooks going back to when I was in highschool. I honestly can’t tell you who got me started with the practice of keeping a sketchbook but it is a practice I continue today.

Currently I have 5 active sketchbooks, 2 of which I try to keep with me at all times. The sketchbooks are full of ideas, poems, thoughts, rants, and of course many, many drawings- loose and some quiet finished. Looking through some of them can be quite painful, as my life, as an artist has been wrought with change and challenges. The sketchbooks chronicle my love life, personal self-discovery, poor choices I have made along the way as well as adventures taken.

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I have to take my hat off to that young, twenty year-old artist, that I was, full of hope and courage. I need to take some lessons from her to take more risk. See what can happen as I glide through my middle age artist self and to keep up the practice of keeping many sketchbooks. They are truly my constant companions.

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