So that’s why it’s called daily sketchbook! Add to “neither rain nor sleet nor snow” how miserable I feel. Some days worse than others, but the sketchbook is a daily regimen. I’ve been at it for 2 1/2 months now. So far so good.
I’ve been thinking how easy of a life we have compared to our Tlingit ancestors who labored for everything. They also had physical endurance due to living in harsher conditions than we do today. I wonder about the conditions the artists worked in, and contrast the tools and materials I have readily available with the materials of artists of long ago.
How were they able to make such perfectly straight lines, or such symmetrical design? For myself, I have many false starts – do-overs. My eraser is my best friend sometimes. If I don’t get something exactly right, I just erase and correct. But a long time ago, these artists didn’t have pencils and erasers. How did they do it?
In Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form, Bill Holm suggested that artists long ago may have had eidetic memory; in other words, they were able to see vividly in their minds the designs they would create. I have no problem picturing designs. My problem is in executing them. They’re never quite what I see in my mind’s eye. Still, some of the best things that happen in art are accidental, right?
It seems like having better tools and materials would result in a better ability to get things just right. That’s never the case for me. But I do like to have good tools and good materials. Even for something as simple as a sketchbook. I get most of my art supplies from Blick Art Materials . When I’m in Seattle, it’s dangerous for me to go to the Dick Blick store up on Capital Hill (right by the Jimi Hendrix statue).
I like a variety of graphite pencils of varying hardness. Some for outlining (mechanical pencil), some for shading. I like a good sketchbook (hardbound Dick Blick). Even erasers, I don’t skimp on. I have refillable eraser pencils that work just like mechanical pencils, but instead of lead refills, it uses eraser refills. I can erase very small areas this way. Treat yourself! Get the best!
Here’s the next 3 Tlingit Formline Sketchbook entries: