Friday, October 17, 2008

My current workspace.

If there's one thing I struggled with during my stint in art school it was the idea of doing hundreds of sketches in a sketchbook of an idea before executing the final work.

I'm not saying that I disagree with the practice, because I don't, I was just never able to keep it up. I liked the idea of keeping a sketchbook and filling it with a bazillion ideas. In fact I loved the idea. in theory. For this practicing artist at least, it's a wonderful thing and one I wish I was able to execute.

I have exact images in mind of what I want to make or I just wing it see what comes out. It's the getting the idea down onto paper in the form of a sketch that always puts a snag in my process. I guess that's why I like working in photography. The sketch pad is wrapped up in the photographic process. I point the lens and open the shutter and the image either works or it doesn't and for every 50 shots that don't quite do it there's always one or two that fit the bill.

With my paintings and drawings, I do make preliminary sketches; but not too many. If I fill up lots of pages with different versions of a painting I get bored and the painting isn't fresh to me anymore. This was the case with the painting I did for my daughter's bedroom: Wynkin Blynkin and Nodd. One or two pencil sketches to get the angle of the shoe just right, a few to get the feel for the waves and some colour sketches to get the palette right. And then I spent 4 weeks painting the actual canvas.

So what do I use my sketch books for? As well as being a visual person I'm also a word person. I jot down ideas, poetry, to do lists, Grocery lists, and notes about things I need to learn about or keep track of like shipping costs for my Etsy shops, and plans for birthday, hallowe'en and holiday parties. And I also scrawl the odd little bit here and there to get my ideas down for future reference.

Do you keep a sketchbook? Let me know how!

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