As Richard Thompson says, words fail me and drawing’s too hard. I’ve been drawing the final Falling Rock comic strips for this school year, and what follows is a page from my sketchbook. I needed to learn how to draw a frog for one strip. Oh, and there’s Carver in the corner because I like drawing things I already know how to draw.
I enjoy sketching. There’s none of the pressure of producing a finished, polished drawing. I don’t know if what I’m drawing will be a disaster or something special. When it turns out well, I’m pleasantly surprised.
I’ve sketched a lot in my life, but I never knew exactly how much. When I was back home I counted all the sketchbooks I have there, then counted all the sketchbooks I have with me here. The earliest books are from middle school (maybe a few pages from elementary school). I slowed down quite a bit in college – I was doing more writing at that point, and the drawings I made were either the comic strip I was doing or for art class projects. Not a lot of sketching. Once out of college, though, I started to burn through sketchbooks at an amazing rate.
Since 2002 I’ve averaged about two books per year. Lately I’ve been using them up even faster. I’m most happy when I’m producing work, even if it is work no one else will see. I think it makes a difference in the final product. Michael Caine once said, “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.” These sketchbooks are me paddling.
Anyway, for those stat junkies among you, here are the totals:
[Keep in mind this doesn’t include anything I drew outside of the books I’ve kept. ]
Drawn sketchbook pages through college: 1266
Drawn sketchbook pages college to the present: 1800
Total drawn sketchbook pages: 3066
That stunned me when I added it up. First I thought, “I really should be a better artist than I am.” But flipping through the pages I saw that I have been steadily improving. I’m glad I’m getting better, at least.
Here’s to three thousand more pages! Onward!
I’m thinking these guys will have to make an appearance in Falling Rock National Park.