In the Studio – Sketching on Paper


I try to get into the studio every day, at least for a few minutes. Some days that means flipping on the light before dawn while I drink my coffee, grabbing a quick look at whatever I’ve got in progress before heading off to whatever damned thing is going to keep me away from my brushes for that day.


The best days are the ones with nothing ahead of me on the books – the luxury of a full day to paint and to think about art. If it’s raining, all the better so that I’m not even tempted to head out for a hike with my pup. I usually start those days by sitting for an hour, looking at the previous day’s work. But on most days, there isn’t time for that. There might only be an hour or two, so unless I have a very clear idea of the moves I want to make on work in progress, I make quick paper sketches, one after another.


It’s a great way to access a state of flow – I’m not making random marks, but rather responding to the surface of the paper with intuition and spontaneity, manipulating light and dark, trying out combinations of elements that will express energy and mood, building up a sense of space on a flat surface. Honestly, it’s damned fun. On the best days, it feels like magic.

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