I sort of lost the joy of making skecthbooks a while ago. it's a sad loss, as i used to be obessessed with them and thought people who didnt use them were missing out; the joy of being outside, drawing, keeping your hand to eye thing going on. What was the point in being an illustrator if you didnt enjoy drawing? who were these people who thought it was a chore?
Years later, I am sadly unlikely to have a sketchbook like I used to have sketchbooks. They really were works of art; but that obsessional quality made them slightly terrifying to me. I didnt want to waste them! I didnt want to spoil their magical paper insides with my quick crappy drawings. So I quit them, pretty much; and the ones i still had were...patchy.
I realise that they are just as useful and necessary even when covered in shopping lists and beer stains, but I wasn't going out and drawing just because anymore.
All this changed a week ago when I managed to get my ass to the David Hockney exhibition in London. I was mesmerized. His joy of colour, the huge scale paintings of East Yorkshire as he remembered it, and then the rooms full of oils done from life. he'd fallen in love all over again with the places he'd grown up, and I felt, nostalgic, joyful and homesick all at once. I wanted to phone my dad straight away and tell him he must come and see this, and I had to go and have a cry in the loos when I realized my silly mistake. (those who know me will know I lost Dad in November. I miss him everyday) When I got back in, I was at a room of 54 paintings that were all done from life. All dated within a day of each other. I did a double take. one a day? not this size, this was silly, a feat of impossible proportions.
It wasn't though. they weren't paintings at all. They were prints. Good golly gosh. Mr Hockney as it turns out, had somewhat dispensed with his sketchbook in return for a £2.99 drawing programme on his ipad. I was horrified, gobsmacked, and then crucially, intersted, on further inspection of the room, horror and snobbish disinterest in digital anhillation of sketchbookery turned into want. I really wnated to have a go. I texted my friend Colin and told him I was buying one. He texted back and said 'work's got one. You wanna borrow?' I didn't need to be asked twice.
this then, is the first 7 drawings off my newly acquired itwat. One a day. On occassion, more than 1 a day has happened, but i'll post the best. They are Hockney like at this time, I hope to move on from this and find my own voice.
More importantly, I think this is a stepping stone back into my tradition joy of sketching. It won't be pad bound forever; but the ease of carrying it round, its non-messy and no-waiting-to-dry character, it's speed and agility even when working with a fat clumsy finger...and just getting back into drawing for the joy of it? I can't fault it. The results will end up on here. If you're interested, I'm using DrawCast, a free app; and as yet, no stylus.
You've got 4 days to go and see the Hockney exhibition ladies and gents, get there if you can.