Drawing from Life

drawing-from-life.jpgThis is a terrific book that I picked up in Seattle and since have been slowly relishing each page. Unlike many survey books that devote little more than a superficial paragraph and single photo for each subject, there are many photos from each journal featured, along with Jennifer New’s in-depth profile of each journal-keeper’s motivation, inspiration, and how keeping art journals over many years has impacted their work and life.

Not just artists are featured — in the mix of 31 journals, there are those of scientists, a psychologist, a film-maker, musicians, an architect, a quilt-maker, and more. New divides the journals up into categories of methodology: observation, reflection, exploration, and creation, with an introductory essay for each section. There is also an introduction siting journal-keepers through history, and the soft-binding, rounded corners, and ghostly grid background on all the interior the pages gave me the pleasant feeling that I was actually reading from a journal.

This book has given me new insight into what I could achieve from keeping a more regular journal and has inspired me to draw every day. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to opportunities to get stuck in odd places or at parties without anyone to talk to, so I can whip out my journal and start gathering visual information. (click on a thumbnail for larger view)


7 thoughts on “Drawing from Life”

  1. Hi Melly, wow — John Copeland’s journals are great. Thanks for the tip.

    Just went back to your website, and I didn’t know that your Quilt National piece actually started as a journal entry. You interpreted it so well — someday I’ll have to get your advice on silk organza!

  2. Pam! I read the article about you and Pamdora. Good stuff. Good for you!
    I have this book and love it. have you gone to John Copeland web site and clicked on Journals? or Tom Judd?

  3. I think the man on the right in the middle picture looks like a pointy chinned Grandpa O. What a good grandpa he was! Love you, Debbie

  4. I want to keep a journal. I’ve never been able to do it. I think it is because I want it to be beautiful and I don’t think I can do that. So, my goal is to start in January and not worry about how it looks. I will cut and paste. Sometimes I will write, but if I can keep ablog going, I should be able to journal.

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