Yellow pencils sharpener and pencil shavings

As I mentioned the other day, I went to see the ‘Late Turner’ exhibition at the Tate Britain gallery here in London on Monday. I really enjoyed it but it was really, really busy.

That meant that I couldn’t look closely at everything so, aside from one painting that I really wanted to see, I decided to focus mostly on the stuff that fewer people seemed interested in.

Lots of people were gathered around huge framed paintings but the less crowded bits of the rooms in the gallery had things like watercolour sketches and, in glass cabinets, some of Turners sketchbooks and letters. I found the sketchbooks probably more interesting than some of the famous, more polished work.

Turners sketchbooks showed sketches in paint and pencil, quick ideas that he got down on paper, which no doubt were the beginnings of ideas and plans for bigger oil paintings.

I think that his sketchbooks and letters really interested me because you could see his handwriting and pencil marks and that felt like you seeing something of him as a person – something I could relate to a bit more easily.

This week’s links are mostly about drawing and keeping a sketchbook – how to do it, why we do it and when to fit it into our lives. Plus a couple of other bits too.

  • The Guardian had an article this week by Moose Allain entitled How to draw … anything which I think will appeal even to those people who think they can’t draw.
  • Liz Ackerley shares some of her thoughts about why she draws and what it is that she gets out of keeping a sketchbook.
  • Crystal Moody discusses the importance of simply enjoying the creative process, going with the flow and how the expectations in our heads can affect the outcome of our creative work.
  • Tsh at The Art of Simple explains a little bit about the Japanese word ‘kaizen’ and how it could help us achieve our goals (creative or otherwise) in very tiny steps.
  • I don’t think this is a new article but I really enjoyed the ideas on the Slow Movement site about Mindful Living and the potential problems of convincing ourselves that we should live the ‘fast life’.
  • Sketchbook Skool students have shared their ideas about how to fit creative habits into our lives, in spite of limits we might have on our time, energy or the inner critic telling us not to bother!