Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Scheherazade Sketch-book

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Over my career as a painter, I have built up a considerable collection of  hard-backed black sketch books, I seem to get through two a year. They are strange animals, full of working drawings, ideas, words, poetry and stuck in visual information squirrelled from various sources; to aid inspiration, create moods and document ideas.
When I was a student I found the whole process quite unnatural and I was self-conscious about working in sketch books as if an imaginery critic was looking over my shoulder.  But I got over all that and now I see them objectively.
  Of course they are going to be very personal and consciously na├»ve by their very nature.  But that is their strength, sketch books are personalized visual diaries, they are the artist’s reference material, full of coded visual information.  They are a means to an end:  hopefully a painting or two!   My sketchbooks are well thumbed, and usually covered in paint, as I often bring them into my studio and prop them up near at hand when I am painting.  They give me clues and annotated instructions and help to guide me, as I compose and paint my pictures.
 

My sketch book is my visual diary, but it is also another vital part of the painting process, so I am posting up a few of my recent sketch book pages that I used when I was painting  my solo exhibition, Scheherazade, which is now showing at The Doorway Gallery, 24 South Fredericks Street, Dublin 2. www.thedoorwaygallery.com, for the rest of November.