09 September 2008

Drawing From Life

"How much virtue there is in simply seeing!"
- Henry David Thoreau
I recently borrowed Drawing From Life: The Journal As Artby Jennifer New from our local library. I had wanted to purchase this book for quite some time, but I've also been trying to save as much money as possible. (Currently, most of my money I make goes back to art supplies, leaving very little for fun reads like this.) So it's a good thing there is a library.

This book focuses on the fact that "journals are unsung heroes, the working stiffs of creative life." Any type of person (artist or not) keeps a journal. You don't have to be a creative genius to jot thoughts and sketch ideas out in a journal. But it definitely seems to help unleash our overwhelming human need to create. While most of us involved in the community sketchbook are artists of one medium or another, it's good to also reflect on the journal entries and thoughts by people from all walks of life. I used to carry a sketchbook around with me entirely for this purpose. I had my friends who claimed they couldn't draw a stick figure write or sketch something on its pages. And you would be amazed at the creativity that I saw. I still have a couple of those books, and one of these days, I may begin to share some of that book here.

There are so many people featured in Drawing From Life: The Journal As Artthat display an amazing skill of observing and sketching that I cannot choose only one artist. Instead, the entire book should either be borrowed from your local library or purchased. This statement says it all:
"...it is the opaque nature of the journal that appeals to outside readers--the series of stepping stones laid out for us, the map with most but not all of the lines connected."
- Jennifer New

You can find more excerpts and visual inspiration from this book here.

1 comment:

arlee said...

Looks fascinating. I like the idea of a map with some points laid out, but not all---"the road not taken" in a new sense of the phrase. We can live vicariously through others explorations and adventures sometimes.