Sketchbook – useful or not?

Sketchbook …

I was never very interested in working in sketchbooks, I thought they were only useful when working figuratively, for drawing, defining compositions of “real things” in nature, still life, figures, etc… Because my work is primarily abstract, spontaneous, in the moment… I could never reproduce in large what I made in small format in a sketchbook. I used sketchbooks more to write down techniques, ideas etc, but not to lay out the foundation of a painting.

Recently I took a course with Nancy Hillis, an American psychiatrist and artist for over 20 years who, through her work, learned that the secret to creating expressively alive paintings is by trusting yourself. She encourages her students to make a lot of starts, to work in a sketchbook (also called a journal), to just create, experiment and trust yourself. That way you can create alive, meaningful art.

I took this at heart and although I already experimented a lot in my work, it was always with the end result in mind… It had to be good!

Now, after these classes, I feel more free, I experiment even more, I use sketchbooks to jot down color schemes, to create little pieces with leftovers from my paint session… I try to trust myself and go ahead without the result in mind during that process.

Here are examples of some of my journal pages…



Yesss… my new storage racks installed

Finally, I have custom sized storage racks installed by a local carpenter.

I am very happy with them!

Now I can easily store my paintings and keep them separated from each other. This was a big problem with the previous storage solution, where I needed to put something in between works to avoid clinging to each other. It was not easy to take a painting out to show it to people, but now… I just slide it out!

new storage racks

new storage racks

new storage racks

new storage racks





How to hang a painting

Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery (Scottsdale AZ) created a comprehensive E-book about the best way to hang a painting. Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

"You’ve just purchased a spectacular painting. An artist spent years studying, refining his/her craft to create this masterpiece. A gallery went to great effort and expense to display the work so that you could see it in a pristine setting. Now, you’ve got the work home and . . . you’re on your own.

Many collectors feel overwhelmed by the prospect of hanging new artwork. They worry that they won’t know where best to display the work in their home, or that they’ll make a mistake in hanging the work, and it won’t look as good in their home as it did in the gallery, or that it won’t fit in with the other work in their collection. In this guide, I’m going to help you alleviate any of those feelings and give you tips that will help you hang artwork like a pro...." (Jason Horejs)

You can download the complete E-book for free (18 MB)

Happy reading!