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September 2013



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Sketchbook Confidential mini book review!



Sketchbook Confidential edited by Stefanie Laufersweiler and one of my favorite North Light people, Pam Wissman (now Editorial Director) is on the bookshelves now, and I've had my nose buried in my copy for days!  I was honored to be invited to be one of the over 40 artists in this book, and even more so when I got my copy of the book and saw what great company I was in!  Some of my favorite artists and included here...

I love to see sketchbooks, often more than finished works; I love the freshness and spontaneity; seeing how the artist's mind works is fascinating.  What catches their eye, how they choose to express that, what tools they favor, what their purpose was...

The book has an intro/bio for each artist (in alphabetical order), then the artists' own words invite you into their worlds...


Tony Pro handles people with surety and subtlety, a winning combination.  The Artist's Magazine chose in in 2006 as "one of 20 artists under 40 to watch", and I'm glad I have!

Richard McKinley's spread includes a sketch and a finished piece...it's an education in itself!  With over 35 years of teaching experience under his belt, this should be no suprirse...

I love Douglas Fryer's planning sketches, above...there is a precision and clean approach that makes me ache to see more...

Albert Handell
has been one of my favorite artists for decades; you will have seen his pastels and oils in any number of books and magazine articles over the years.  As Stefanie notes, you could hardly pick up a book on pastels in the 60s or early 70s without seeing one of his evocative pieces, powerful whether landscapes or people...

These bold. sure, playful images are from Chuck Lucas, who's been illustrating sci-fi for the past decade.  Fantastic creatures populate his pages, but he makes them look REAL...and who's to say they're not?

Above you see one of my own spreads from the book; we each have 4 pages.  Mine are all from my sketch journals, and the cover image includes one from my little fantasy journal made when I needed an escape from reality on occasion.  (You can see the complete Flickr set HERE.)

My only wish (beyond wishing there could have been still MORE) is that the images had been captioned with what and why...but that's a very small quibble.

And of course this is just a tiny sampling of the work in this richly illustrated book.  Check the above link and take advantage of Amazon's "look inside" function--and don't forget to hit "surprise me," because you'll see so much more that way!

The book is currently on sale from the North Light Book Store, too--be sure to visit to see what else they're offering!