For the month of August, Keith and I will have our total collection of sketchbooks available in the studio for perusal. Together we have almost 40 completed skecthbooks, dating from our time at SCAD until present. Keeping a visual journal has been a way to connect our everyday lives to our artistic practice. It's a place to try out an idea or scribble when the need strikes.
The sketchbook habit started for me in college. Art nerds that we were, Keith and I carried our sketchbooks everywhere with us and diligently drew everything that was worth drawing. We weren't the only ones, there were lots of art nerds in Savannah. From apartments to coffee houses to homework parties, art nerds abounded.
My collage experimentation traces back to Savannah. I developed a thirst for national geographic and vintage time life series books. After creating lots of sketchbook collages, Claire Stringer and I founded "Pinch Underneit". Inspired equally by the dada movement and religious propaganda so prevalent in Georgia, we created images and found poetry and issued our own manifesto.
The sketchbook was a format I could use to process information and fill countless hours, sometimes taking notes or writing down bits of conversation. Trading sketchbooks with an artist friend and seeing what they've been thinking about, and adding a little drawing for them.
The move to Raleigh was a radical shift in sketchbook usage. I was drawing more than ever. In a new town not knowing very many people, and being removed from an art nerd culture, my sketchbook was a commentary, diary and refuge.
Once my daughter was big enough to hold a drawing implement, my sketchbook became a place for us to collaborate.
One of my saddest sketchbook moments was loosing a whole book at Lowes. Maybe one day it will come back to me.
A physical manifestation of the flow of ideas and visions. Staying current in my sketchbook means taking time out from projects I'm working on to let my thoughts free.