Thinking more than painting

As I mentioned in my last post, I finished the sketchbook I’d been keeping, from the spring of 2010 through May 2011. I scanned every page of it (save for one that was a list to myself), and you can view them all here, or as a slideshow, if you would like the experience of flipping through the pages.

I’m pleased with what I’ve learned about drawing and composition through this book, and I’m really happy with some of the ideas I explored in more depth than I usually do. I can see that in the second half, I moved from essentially doodling to actually thinking about form and how to represent it and communicate about it.

How this applies to painting remains to be seen, since I am most frequently consumed with schoolwork lately, or obsessing about nature.

But what matters to me right now is that I am thinking, that I’m in a really open and enthusiastic place in how I’m looking at the world and experiencing it. It’s lamentable that I lost my focus during grad school and got so overwhelmed with my personal life that my painting became half-hearted diagrams of scattered emotions, but that time has thankfully passed.


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This afternoon the light was coming through Venetian blinds in my window, and a gentle breeze was moving the trees and leaves outside, as well as the blinds themselves. This cast an array of shadows that I found utterly enthralling, across the corner of the painting currently on my easel.

In response to this subtle but powerful observation of a moment so small and ephemeral, something started tugging fiercely at my heart. I know, in my soul, I need to paint more.