Thursday, July 22, 2010

A golden line

Almost at the end of my sketchbook. I have two or three, but this one has lots of small drawings, ideas for paintings, some done, some waiting to be done. I bought it in Broadway in 2002 and was intimidated by its pure pages when I first started working in it, so to begin with I stuck down notes from the children, a note from Robin, a picture of a swan. 
The caption here reads 'love is like walking on a ribbon nine miles high'. I drew the sketch a few days after meeting Robin. Love is dangerous, but after eight years, although I fell I have not yet been hurt. ( Still haven't painted the picture from the sketch though.)
With only a few pages left I have been looking for a new book and so when I heard that Rook's Books were at Art in Action I abandoned my stall for a few minutes and headed for the market place.

So, this is my new book and I am still wondering what to do first. The paper is different to the one I am used to. The endpapers are marbled, beautiful. It weighs heavy, smells wonderful.

And although it was good being at Art in Action, hearing people's reactions to the paintings, teachers comments on the dragon book and how it works in class, meeting a lovely young man and then being told that he had 'grown up on my books' ( oh dear, did I feel old? no, just pleased) it is so good to be home, to walk the hills and to be back to work in the glorious solitude of my studio.
I am counting my blessings.


  1. I enjoy each of your posts and getting a glimpse of your life as an artist. You have the right reaction to the young man who 'grew up on your books'.

  2. I just started a new sketchbook. It is almost painful to make the first drawing. Will it be worthy of the book? I did it anyway, just a quick sketch, to make it less pristine.
    Your work is so wonderful, do you ever have the same worry?

  3. Beautiful drawing to start your new sketch book - was that inspired by the Hare encounters on a golden field in your previous post then?
    Seeing your sketchbooks makes me think - I really must reclaim my own - they've been abandoned too long!

  4. Hare drawing is a large piece on paper. Sketch for it is in the old sketch book. Nothing in the new one yet. Still filling the last few pages.

  5. I'm a terrible hoarder of beautiful note/sketch books...I have bought many over the years, and many are unfortunately still blank because I'm too terrified that I might 'spoil' them with something less than perfect. Very silly, I know, but there it is!

  6. I have often thought that an artist's sketchbooks are their equivalent of a writer's journal/diary. Our "bunnies" (jackrabbits, a species of hare) are shaped differently than yours. They sit upright like cats, and their fur is colored like the stubble in your pictures from the last post, only more sunbleached and is flecked with burnt sienna and black. They run like lightning, zigging and zagging maniacally, and leap so high. The colors here are not so rich and pure as those in your photos, but more muted, with a distinctly sunbleached, washed out quality -- the plants, the birds' feathers, the animals' coats, even the soil -- very much an "egg tempra" palette like in Andrew Wyeth's work. The quality of light here is very "Greek" -- bright and white, especially when out of an unclouded sky that reaches all the way down to the ground. I love seeing how your world is reflected in your art. So wonderfully different than mine.

  7. Jackie!

    What will you do with the sketchbook once it's completely filled in? Sell it? Keep it? Take it apart and give away the pages?

    Oh, and the hare illustrations are full of life and look cool!