Today, I taught a class in Artist Journals and Books at The Art Stand Gallery. There were 8 students, but that thought always makes me smile (inwardly) because I always think that when you teach adults, there is a very fine line between teacher and student. I hope they all learned something from today's class, but I know that I also learned a lot from each of them.
We had a good day, sharing thoughts and information, and implementing some new ideas. We talked about the various reasons for keeping a journal (which can also be called a sketchbook, a workbook, a notebook, an idea or inspiration journal, a log, a diary etc.) all of which are related to the stages of "Pause, Record, Reflect, Move On" in the artistic process. I am not a good person about keeping a sketchbook, because my best ideas always come to me when I'm in a restaurant and all I have to draw on is a thin white napkin and all I have to draw with is a leaky, fat Sharpie pen! But that can't be helped and so, I draw on. Then I take my little sketches home and use them to paint a painting and ultimately put them into a fat folder on the shelf, seldom to be seen or used again.
Last week, I took the folder and transferred all the random sketches and other bits of information into a brown kraft paper, 3 ring binder which has now become my "workbook." It contains sketches, brainstorming ideas, reference photos, clipart etc., as well as photos of the finished paintings that came from each sketch. I am sure this is going to work much better for me. It will be a more useful tool to document where I'm coming from, what I do to complete a painting, and where I might like to go next.
The photos today don't show the binder but I will photograph it very soon. You can see the class members and a couple of shots of what they are working on. It was a fun day and I think people enjoyed it. I hope some will begin to keep a different sort of journal or workbook than they have kept in the past.