Tuesday, 8 March 2011


I have been really inspired by a blog post by a friend of mine about her sketch book practice, http://www.wendyrhodes.blogspot.com/ , it made me contemplate my own need to work in sketch books.

Using a variety of techniques that appear no where else in my work I experiment with ideas and media.

I feel that this is where the hard work is done, where an artist can be privately creative. I often think that the work I do in my sketch books has more spontaneity and freshness than work I produce for public consumption.

I use my sketch books to record and rough out ideas. It is my safe place to draw badly and make mistakes. If I do not make a note of an idea immediately it will often be lost forever.

Artist's sketch books are the support to their work, most are private and it would be a tragedy to rip pages out to display as it is often the juxtaposition of one idea following the other when the page is turned that makes it so interesting to look at.

I love to see other artist's preparation, a sketch book, like a diary shows what is going on in a creative mind. Here are 3 of my favourite books, this one about Picasso's sketch book, full of spare gestural line drawings which shows the development of some of his most famous works.

This book about Palmer full of annotated drawings that look so contemporary, but then quick drawing does not date.

This well thumbed book is full of ideas and techniques to get a sketch book under way. Chapter 1 is entitled, Purposes of a Sketch Book: Pause, record, reflect, move on... says it all really.
So... what is in your sketch book?
Here is the challenge, let me know if you post about your sketch book, the techniques you use and what you use your sketch book for, do you have a favourite subject or technique. Like dieting and exercise, regular sketch book use is on that New Years resolution list. For inspiration check out Sharon's post from September 1st 2010 on
http://blog.sharonmcswiney.co.uk/ . I look forward to hearing from you.


Wendy Rhodes said...

Hi Sue,
What a lovely post, and really interesting to be introduced to these sketchbooks by much more well known artists. This could be the start of a fascinating exchange between blogging artists, I hope others rise to your challenge and share their pages

Jane Housham said...

Hello Sue
I love your art, your sketchbook, everything. Wonderful stuff.

Printed Material said...

I read this post and went straight to my little hoard of sketchbooks. I photographed a few pages and posted them. Now you know how reticent I am about these things but I have tried to rise to the challenge. You've always been so supportive of my sketchbook efforts, how could I not come out in support of your request? I hope lots of others do the same. I love sketchbooks and as ever, your are to die for. I also popped over to Sharon's blog and it made me yearn to visit Slimbridge again. Does this mean more birds will be hot off the press soon? Lesley x

Jill said...

Hello Sue, I'm a regular reader of Lesley's Printed Material so was intrigued by the sketchbook revelations. I got out a few of mine and looking at them analytically revealed a few recurring themes. I subsequently posted about them on my blog Third Age Musings. Love your examples. I have just bought Creating Sketchbooks, I am sure it will get lots of wear.

Jill said...

PS - just realized you are in the postcard circle, we'll 'meet' again.