Daily Formline Sketchbook: Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Snow…

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:

Experimental Tlingit Formline Robert Davis Hoffmann

How Killer Whales Really Look

Experimental Tlingit Formline Robert Davis Hoffmann

Whale in the Wild

Experimental Tlingit Formline Robert Davis Hoffmann

Snow Melting Off Cedar

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