Two Onions, 2006, ball point pen on Moleskine Sketchbook
It was a year ago that I first started using a Moleskine Sketchbook. When I was introduced to it before that time I didn't think that it was right book for me due to its very narrow small size. But it all changed as soon as I started drawing in it, and more possibilities opened as I began to draw across and on back of pages. I became very attached to this sketchbook, and because of its portability it was easy for me to take it everywhere I went. Keeping a sketchbook was not my thing. Through out the years I've started many sketchbooks but never seemed to finish them. My approach to them was totally wrong, thinking that every time I put down something on the page it needed to be a masterpiece. Disappointment lead me to drop and trash many sketchbooks.
Study of an Onion, 2006, ball point pen on Moleskine Sketchbook
But there was something about this specific sketchbook that allowed me to use it more as a learning tool. Not only as a place where I could make small thumbnail studies but also as visual journal. Somewhere I could jot down ideas as they came to me. It was the right time to start this sketchbook since at that moment I was in the middle of rediscovering my painting. New exciting experiences living in the city among other things new made it easy for me to put myself in a new frame of mind about sketchbooks. They no longer needed to hold masterpiece drawings, they just needed to be recording tools. And with pen in hand I started drawing whatever I found stimulating as I went about my daily life.
Magolino and His Sons (detail of sculpture) after Carpeaux, 2007, ball point pen on Moleskine Sketchbook
Many times I've enjoyed taking my sketchbook to my favorite place on earth, the Met Museum. It is here where a lot of learning takes place. There have been many times when drawing and note taking happened all at once as I absorbed as much as I could.
I have had the opportunity to see traveling shows which brought to New York works of art I would never have seen unless I took a trip to Europe. This was the case with the show at the Guggenheim early this year, a large survey of Spanish painting from El Greco to Picasso. I got to see amazing Zurbaran and Velazquez paintings, and such a special exhibition needed to be recorded in my sketchbook.
Looking through the pages of this sketchbook I can see some of the growth I've done this past year. As an artists this book was a big step in terms of confidence, using a pen was not normal for me but now it seems like there's nothing else I would rather use. Not interrupting the flow of things a second sketchbook was begun recently and I look forward to seeing what things will fill the pages of my next Moleskine.
For more images of all the drawings of the first Moleskine click here.