Sketchbooking is Hip


With a bit of time between completion of summer camps and the beginning of fall programs, I have been able to meet the creative needs that come with my job. This has me thinking a lot about the pace of the museum’s educational programs. Mostly, I have been thinking about organizing tasks for best productivity. I believe it is important  to work in rhythms of exertion and relaxation-like a heartbeat it is important to contract and relax. It seems like the body is meant to work hard as well to find moments to pause and shift focus in order to create room for contemplation and rejuvenation. Significantly, the heart is still working while it relaxes; it is refilling and refueling for the next heartbeat.

I have come to know a member of the museum named David, he is a wonderful engaging pleasant individual, one of those people that is so easy and enjoyable to talk too. David can be found regularly during lunch hours wandering any of the three Telfair Museums sites. Sometimes he is slowly wandering through the galleries, other times he is sitting on benches in hallways and commons areas, or talking to museum staff.

David has explained that these small breaks at the museum enable him to meet the high demands of his job. By taking moments of his day to relax, rejuvenate, and rebuild the energy necessary to push through the rest of the day. In a high demand situation the biggest errors always seem to be the result of panicked decisions. It has been proven that during extended periods of long hours and hard work that creativity and productivity are actually diminished.

We all have our ways of meeting high demands and moments of relaxation. For many it’s drinking coffee all day until the martinis kick in. For others it is found in a workout, jogging, walking. Personally one effort that has become increasing important for me is sketching. It’s a way of finding those slacker moments without actually being a slacker. Within periods of high demand taking a moment to reflect is necessary to keep the heart pumping and creativity flowing. Sketching provides an experience that is so drastically different for the computer that the momentary 5 minute shift in focus can feel like a tiny vacation.

I will be teaching a sketchbooking class/open studio opportunity because it’s so important for people to find small moments to relax and rejuvenate. Sketchbooking also offers a wonderful way to investigate the works in a museum. This class is lunch time program for adults and can be approached according to your needs and desires. Call it the “Pandora” of art programs. We will have materials according to your desire available as well as presentations, demos, exercise and assignments, or you can do your own thing and just sketch in the sculpture gallery, pick and choose according to your mood, desire, and likes.

In the instruction portion of the class we will demonstrate a variety of different ways and methods of sketching. Participants will work with representation, abstraction, mixed media, creative thinking strategies, and artist books. Additionally the museums’ internet, blogging and Facebook-ing guru Caila Brown has offered to help show people how to create their own sketchbook blog.

The whole group of classes offered this fall lend themselves well to anyone who is interested in learning the basics as well as advancing developed skills. However all lend themselves to individuals that are interested in sketch booking. The Mary Whyte exhibition  and workshop will feature works from her sketchbooks as she develops her final water color paintings.

What I love about my sketchbooks is that they are mine, the cover closes. I don’t have to be the guy with a master degree in painting, or prove that I am good artist, I can fail make really bad drawings and no one knows. It is an intimate space of reflection and investigation without stress, expectation, or demand just filled with desire and fun. Sketchbooks are a “space” I can keep in my back pocket and access whenever I need a moment to relax, reflect and refill before the next big push through the day.