Seattle’s CityArts Magazine published a selection of my sketchbook pages from 1980-2018.
(Original text and link bellow.)
I draw almost every day. Drawing is a lifelong foundational activity of my art making process. Since the late 1970s I have maintained a practice of creating sequential pages within dated sketchbooks. They chronicle observations, ideas, styles and the practice of material usage, while also serving as a visual diary and archive that I regularly mine for painting ideas.
This collection of images spans 38 years. As a self-taught youth I had derived inspiration from Escher, and da Vinci as well as science fiction and fantasy media. When formalizing my education at art school my sketchbooks explode with works in collage, charcoal, ink, paint, coffee, metal, fire and cigarette-butt ashes. Following college and throughout the 1990s I continued sketching scenes of fantastic realism, surrealism and figuration. Travel inspired another sketchbook boom during the 2000s. Ideas filled one sketchbook every two months. More recently abstraction and mark making have occupied more pages. Sometimes this is due to working with my non-dominant hand.
To date I have completed about one hundred sketchbooks. Eighty percent of them are filled at coffee shops. Sketchbooks are a means to take my studio with me while also isolating myself from studio distractions. It is a daily exorcize of play and free-association. Occasionally I surprise myself with complete painting ideas that form within a few minutes. More often I sketch to compose paintings by combining content from other pages or reworking ideas from a variety of perspectives. Alternatively, unless I am laboring over a specific project I generally approach the blank page open to whatever emerges.
Although I produce most of this work in public, few people see it unless they watch me draw in real time. I’m not secretive, just constantly filling the next page. Completed sketchbooks accumulate in milk-crates kept in the studio where I can leaf through them for inspiration. They are the seeds for all past and future paintings. At 220 pages each, they are arguably the most valuable things I own.