Drawing From Life:The Journal as Art

by Jennifer New

This isn't exactly one of my books. It's a book that includes 5 or 6 of my sketchbook pages, and some brief comments. All told, there's about 25 people represented in the book.

It's an interesting book--it's not about the visual skill level, it's much more about the thinking that goes into the process. Personally, I found the variety of approaches very inspiring.

My only regret about the project is that my friend Barron Storey declined to participate. By all rights, someone should do a book JUST about his journals! It's long overdue.

The text below is from the "flap copy."

Who hasn't, at one time or other, kept a journal? The impulse to record our daily lives on paper is nothing if not universal. Still, only a few of us have the discipline to make it past the first few entries, and fewer still manage to create diaries whose insight and visual beauty can inspire anyone but their authors. Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art is an exploration of these exceptions—books of obsessive wonder filled to their borders with drawings, sketches, watercolors, graphs, charts, lists, collages, portraits, and photographs. Jennifer New takes readers on a spirited tour into the private worlds of journal keepers—an architect, a traveler, a film director, an archeologist, a cancer patient, a songwriter, a quiltmaker, a gardener, an artist, a cyclist, and a scientist, to name just a few—illustrating a broad range of journaling styles and techniques that in the end show how each of us can go about documenting our everyday lives. Excerpts from journals by such artists as Maira Kalman, Lynda Barry, Steven Holl, John Clapp, David Byrne, Carol Beckwith, and Mike Figgis give us a peek at how creative souls observe, reflect, and explore. For those who already keep a journal, Drawing from Life will be an inspiration. For those who have always wanted to—or tried and failed—it might just be the motivation needed to get past that first week..

Princeton Architectural Press

ISBN #: 1568984456


Note: These images are not necessarily in the book. They are instead linked to my sketcbhook images.