Drawing is a continuous, open ended dialogue between artist and media. The sketchbook is a part of this extended discourse which encapsulates a brief period of time, hours, days or months, depending on it’s size, page count and use. It may be circumscribed, or not, by technique, theme or duration. The choice of pigment, ground, tool and gesture is oriented through a conscious or unconscious emotional or intellectual intent which in my books moves fluidly between accurate, recorded observation and interpretive abstraction and mark making. These states seem to produce ostensibly different results but each is actually representational of a deeper and contiguous emotional state, an exchange with person, place, or experience.
The sketchbook is a record reflective of the artists daily world and is shaped by their sense of location and self. My sketchbooks offer echo traces of the things which preoccupy me, people, places, technical problems in drawing and recording; perspective, proportion, character, seeing patterns in chaos, injecting chaos into order, the representation of large three dimensional spaces on a limited two dimensional surface, the capturing of something as fleeting as mood or movement on a static flat paper ground. Some small part of the wonder, hope and awe of the world around us. The sketchbook holds in a way, a crystallised fragment of the artists world view, intellectual and visual, for good or bad, happy or sad. It’s a chance, at least partially, to see the world through someone else’s eyes, understanding and hands.
In parallel, sketchbooks are also a detailed testimony to the developing skill of all artists and their individual cognitive struggles with the mysterious process of drawing, a participation in life and existence through observation.
This sketchbook, the first contributed to this wonderful collaborative project, is part of a long term series of some thirty plus books dating back over twenty five years, which I’ve carried with me virtually every day at work, at home and on all my travels.
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