The Ongoing Sketchbooks by Steven Silverleaf

sketch booksI work in a variety of sketchbooks of varying sizes in my art making. A few years ago I realized that hundreds of books were headed for the landfill, so I began reclaiming some of them as sketchbooks to work in. In the first photo I have arranged a number of them on a table top along with my usual helter skelter work surface. The first thing I do to make them mine is to gesso each page. I will usually do several books at a time as you can only do one spread at a time. I have tended to choose children’s books because they have heavier paper and less pages but all types of books will work. Recently I have been reclaiming very large coffee table type books. I lightly prepare each page with white or other colors of paint, but I do not often completely cover the page or what was printed there.

sketch books

The second image that I have posted here is a large book on Romanesque art, at 14″ x 20″ it is among the largest books I have worked on. I am doing a drawing on the back of each page/plate that is a rough copy of the facing plate. I am adding my own iconography while keeping the main theme of the artwork presented. Like a lot of self imposed projects I come up for myself, this is part auto-biography, part jest, and part research in that I am really looking at how some past artist put together their style of art. This project will likely last for a number of years as I have to be in a specific mood to work on it. There are a lot of possibilities in using found books rather than commercial sketch books.

sketch booksIn this third image you can see how I have laid out a number of sketchbooks and also a couple of free drawings and one photo. In my figurative work, I will often see a pose I like for a variety of reasons and will snap a photo or sometimes sketch quickly if I happen to have pencil and paper handy. I will draw it into one of my pre-prepared sketchbooks and may end up doing the drawing several times in the same book. Or, I may feel like working on a certain pose and start from one sketchbook and transfer that pose to a different sketchbook. I may also use a drawing out of a sketchbook as a starting place for larger drawing or painting. However, I do not pretend to a logical or lineal process at this point, because I so much like chance and variance to run like a thread through my work.

See more of Steven’s work at his website.

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 10:50 am 1 Comment

A Journal Sketchbook by Linda Passman

This summer, I returned to the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts to hear live music at Tanglewood and attend dance programs at Jacobs Pillow. As usual, I brought my journal-sketchbook with me like I do whenever I go on a trip or attend a concert, theatre or dance program. The drawings you see in this article are just […]

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 12:45 pm 3 Comments

Let Your Freak Flag Fly by Amy Fletcher

“If there are only a handful of acceptable ways to express yourself, no one is really expressing themselves at all.” — Jerry Saltz New York Magazine Senior Art Critic, Jerry Saltz, was kicked off of Instagram (and quickly reinstated) and, more recently and famously, Facebook. Why? He was posting Medieval Art and those that followed […]

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 1:52 pm 0 Comments

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