Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Nature Of Sketchbooks

My use of sketchbooks began with a journal in high school. Journaling was a way to sort out and examine all the unexplainable actions and reactions that occur while coexisting in a building filled with hormone driven teenagers. Over the years my artwork and my journals have merged, resulting in sketchbooks filled with images that are maps through a world that still seems to be driven by questionable actions and reactions.

For a long time I used my sketchbooks as a kind of petridish, place to compose my thoughts and images, and then transfer that information to an outside medium such as painting or sculpture. Two things occur by doing this, first there is a shift from the reactionary thought process to the mechanical mind, a change from what do I think about this, to how do I reproduce this. Secondly, processing the imagery remove some of the personal baggage associated with that imagery. This makes the artwork more comfortable to display in public

The sketchbooks have a symbiotic relationship. I work in multiple sketchbooks at the same time. Some of them I have been reexamining and reworking for years. Others seem to fill up over night. All of them feed from each other to expose new possible relationships and directions.

There is a rawness inside the sketchbooks that is related to the subconscious grittiness of reactionary thought. Because of the imperfections and flaws associated with this rawness, the sketchbooks have always been held back from public viewing, but I have come to realize that this rawness also conveys an honesty and truth that is after all the foundation to all great art. 


Major Tool said...

These are nice. I think you should mount a grouping into one large wall piece. What size are these sketches?

Brad Ford Smith said...

The pages shown by clicking the link above are all 8.5x5.5". I am working on an exhibit of them early next year.