Being Sketchy

Almost every one of my friends all agree that keeping a sketchbook is a good idea and having a sketchbook has numerous merits. Many other non-sketching friends will say they would love to have a sketchbook but when asked “Why Not?” they say, “I can’t draw!”

Sketchbooks are not about being a good artist, they are about being a good thinker. Yes, some people do bring the practice of sketching to a higher level, but to me it’s been about visual brainstorming, recording places and objects that catch my attention. My sketchbook is my workbook. I do not care how good or bad I am, but rather enjoy that I am using my creativity with each stroke of the pencil. The point for me is to keep trying. I feel a really special satisfaction when I capture a likeness in my own drawings. I am delighted when my drawings lead to building skill in using values, perspective, inventing new color palettes, and observing interesting details. I feel a sense of wonder when I look at someone else’s artwork and see their drawing.

Sketchbooks from a day of drawing with friends.

We have a happier, healthier life when we make space for things that we enjoy. The best part of keeping a sketchbook is that drawing is something that we can do in the company of others, promoting friendships and spending good times with friends. It is a way of being clear-headed, calm, working with our brains, and having fun all at the same time. I belong to a couple of urban sketching groups and have been forming a local sketchbook group in the area where we have a lake home. Check out “Alexandria Area Sketchers” on Facebook.

“Being Sketchy” creates all kinds of connections, inspiration, and can really drive people to have better lives. It’s motivating. It’s warming. It’s encouraging. Drawing’s a unique tool for communication because of this. Sometimes words don’t say enough.

Thanks for reading!