Monday, April 26, 2010

Start Sketching!

I dropped the hint for my birthday that I wanted to have a book on sketching or journaling. I guess everyone took the bait, because I received three great books to add to the five I already own on the topic! I think I like to read about sketching even more than I like to do it. 

It is in description that the keeper of a diary becomes artist. All description is art, and in describing an event, an action or a being, you enter into the joy of art. You become its singer, the expresser of its glory. With a verbal description goes also sketching, the thumbnail sketch, the vague impression. There is no reason for being afraid of bad drawing in one's own personal travel diary. The main thing is that it be yours and have some relationship to the eyes and the thing seen.

~Stephen Graham from The Gentle Art of Tramping

I find all this to be very inspiring and I've many the half-finished journals to prove it. My problem seems to be with carry-through, or consistency. Is it a time-management problem? Certainly that is something I struggle with. For instance, I've been meaning to get to this blog post since last week, but have spent all my time in the studio instead, working on a couple of new and old plates. Maybe my problem is that I have a one-track mind and am only able to throw myself into one task at a time. What about you?

I would love to have some feed-back about your own activities. Do you keep a journal? Or has your blog become your sole form of self-expression? Do you handle both, (not to mention your job, your art and your family)? Leave me a comment, tell me how you do it!

Here are the wonderful books I added to my library last week. I recommend every one of them:
by Daniel Price


by Danny Gregory

by Danny Gregory


  1. Nancy, if you start me on the topics of your post, I think I could write for hours ! I'd like to do everything ! Journaling, sketching,trying new techniques, changing the focus of my paintings and so on. Like you, I can't follow more than one track at a time, but as I also like to experiment new techniques or explore new themes, I seem to jump from one thing to eht other constantly, hence some lack of consistency in my work. But this is just the way I am, and sometimes people see some similarities in my works, such as textures and colors, so I think this is the way I'm living the artistic part of my life.
    I've been keeping a journal about my art since november '03, when I had my first exhibition in a hair salon, but with hiatus ranging from a few days to a few months. This is not an artistic journal, rather something about what I'd like to explore both from an artistic and from a business point of view. I accasionally keep another arts journal about techniques. I just started one about printmaking to record my trials and my ideas linked to relief printing.

  2. Nancy,
    I have never sketched or kept a journal. I wished I had while raising my two boys...the things they did to make me smile..;-) I know journals can become a thing of great importance and significance. My sisters journal proved that to me. Before she passed (cancer) she began a journal to chronicle her mental and physical state during her treatments. As her primary caregiver for one and a half years, I always wondered if I was doing enough for her or if she resented me taking over her life. After her funeral service her son gave me her journal and there in black and white were the words " I love when my sister Janet is here...she makes me feel SAFE !" I can't tell you how those few words gave me such relief and comfort. So long story short...go for your best to keep a regular schedule of will benefit you and you never know who else in the future.
    your friend,

  3. PS...I think for now my blog is my journal...;-)

  4. Hi Nancy!
    what a fabulous blog (and Maison Conti looks amazing too -- Emily had passed along the link a while back)!! And Happy belated birthday! My husband and I are thinking of a trip to France next year, perhaps (can't wait to meet Quinn & see Emily/Jos!)...All to best,
    Julia (Zarankin).

  5. I love readding, and thanks for your artical.........................................

  6. I love your sketch. I think it's really the better option to be too busy creating in the studio to have time for blogging than the other way around. I find all aspects of my life to be in competition with one another. I try to keep my son first, hats second, me third and my poor husband always feels that he's on the bottom of the list. Sighhh....