Documenting art student sketchbook journals and validating artist research.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I wanted to start this blog to share my discoveries and challenges as a professor of painting and drawing. My latest endeavor, after abandoning the idea of required sketchbooks for my drawing students for two years, is to re-invigorate and re-establish the idea of "sketchbook".

After reading Jennifer New's book, "Drawing From Observation: The Journal as Art", I decided to add it as a second text for my Drawing 2 class this past spring semester. What I had found myself wondering while reading through this book, with its wonderful array of photographed pages of sketchbook journals from a variety of creative people, is that perhaps students simply need examples of the range of possibilities of sketchbooks. Sketchbooks clearly function differently for different artists; some use it for ideation/brainstorming, some use it as a diary or account of activities and some use it to create small format, completely developed, works of art.

I also provided students with a variety of examples of artist websites that provided images of working sketchbooks. There was even a simple "how to" image I found that demonstrates how to use a three-ring binder as a sketchbook.

More about my discoveries to come!