This small painting from my sketchbook represents a tentative turn towards posting more personal insights into my creative process.

I’ve been carrying a sketchbook with me for over 30 years for no reason other than to hold on to something that caught my eye.

A way for me to keep things close to my heart.

Lately, I’m appreciating the value of them as I find myself reaching for one when trying to reconcile a painting problem, searching for an image, a note, jotted down decades ago.  Often surprised by how a simple gesture in pencil or paint, ground me in the moment I recorded it.

The sketch above is from about 8 years ago. I’m there with the birds in the clear, cool air, gliding in the morning light. Its a light that I love to capture in egg tempera.

Its a painting I’ve yet to do in tempera, but its there waiting, safely tucked in the pages of my sketchbook.

Initially, I drew in a variety of spiral bound paper covered sketchbooks in assorted sizes, tossing them under truck seats and in studio corners. As they got tattered and torn I gravitated to hardcover ones of a standard size; lined them up on my bookshelves with all their little secrets scribbled behind hard black covers.

When my twins were born I’d make a quick note of something they do or say. Quick because twins were usually headed in opposite directions at the same time. One of my favorites; when my daughter first saw lightning with thunder, she named it “thunderlash”.

Twenty years later I’m still reserving her word for the right painting.

Sketchbook Diary Notes:

Southeast, several great egrets with a lone woodstork, 8:20 am misty and cool,  sun is slowly rising, soft light – subtle colors

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