I recently started my 20th sketchbook. This one is different; it represents something different to me than past volumes have. This wasn’t planned. It’s something that’s come about on its own. When I started to continuously keep a sketchbook in 1995, I wanted to keep a journal of whatever came to mind at any given time. It didn’t matter what it was, it just mattered that I put it down on paper. That’s easier said than done. I was a different person then; things were different for me. Not better or worse, just different. All the changes that I would go through over the next decade would end up in one way or another on the pages of my sketchbook. At one point, my sketchbook became the only place where I could do any kind of work due to the fact that I was caring for my mother 24/7. As you can see, keeping a sketchbook has been something that’s been important for me for quite some time. Sometimes, it’s hard to express the significance of something like this to people. It’s important to keep working; drawing on a daily basis is what separates the great from the mediocre. Even if you’re not doing finished work, it important to continue working because this is how you discover new ideas and refine your draftsmanship. Despite the challenges I’ve had to face over the last 15 years, I’ve continued to work. It’s what you do as an artist. There’s no stopping — ever. You draw all the time for as long as you can until you drop.
I find my point of view on lots of things to be quite different as I begin this new sketchbook. Because of what I’ve been through, I’ve grown in many ways and I see things in a way that I hadn’t before. In some ways my patience and understanding has grown, while in other ways it has dwindled significantly. As you get older, your bullshit detector gets pretty sharp. That is a blessing. What’s even better is that you’re not concerned about telling people that you can see through their bullshit. All this will undoubtedly find its way onto the pages of this new sketchbook. This is why this volume is going to be different from all the rest. What you’re going to get is an unfiltered, no holds barred representation of all that I am. That’s what you’re supposed to see when you look at someone’s sketchbook.
I am looking forward to the work that I will be doing in this new sketchbook and the freedom that I’ll be allowing myself. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point and I plan on enjoying it to the fullest. In all honesty, everything is open to being opined upon: millennials, politicians, the characters at the coffeehouse, portraits, nude studies, landscapes, music and musicians, still lifes, etc, etc, etc. It’s endless. Let the games begin!