I once bought the perfect artist’s sketch book – with a black leather-look cover and wonderful thick, acid-free pages. But when I unwrapped it and set it carefully on my art desk it would not work. Every time I opened the book blank pages stared at me – expressionless and fixedly white – until I closed its cover and placed it neatly on my shelf.
There it observed life for a year or two, while I sketched happily on any other paper. Only when its spell had faded somewhat, did I open it again. Even then, I had to coax it into action by beginning journal style.
On the first blank page, I washi-taped a smudged 2b thumbnail sketch (something I’d prepared earlier) on a ripped-edge scrap of lined foolscap. On the second blank page I taped a post-it note drawing of a smiling face. By the third page my drawings had escaped the additional scraps and sticky-notes – spreading outwards over the pages of that sketch book.
Perhaps the hurdle was my conditioned love of books – there to look at, to be treated with care. There to read again and again.
The sketch however, is perhaps the least formal expression of art – often a few simple lines expressing the beginnings of an idea. It demands carefree abandon – and so too the pages of a sketch book with it. Yet somehow, a book is for keeps.
For new ideas, I still work best on lovely loose sheets of paper – before I tape them to the pages of my sketch book.
©Annmarie Scott 2017