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  • Writer's pictureJimmy Craig Womble II

Sketchbooks and sketching

What have I been up to over the past weeks? School is back in full swing, routines are kind of set, and I’ve been working regularly in the studio and sketching quite a bit. Paintings are being worked, commissions coming together, and am getting ready to head to Rocky Mount, NC, for my annual Christmas window paintings at Smith’s Red and White, in Dortches. This will be year 21, I think. But the reason for this post is for the sketching.

These sketches were created for a possible commission, in order to share some ideas regarding layout and design. I’ll have to produce more working sketches for the Smith’s windows. There is a certain frame of mind I’m in when I make these that is different from the way I normally approach sketch work.

Personal drawings are done spur of the moment and for no other reason than to enjoy the moment of observation, and have an honest response, without any plan, or any pressure to produce something that will be seen by anyone other than me.

These are like notes to myself. And that is why I also think they are the most honest. They reflect my level of interest, my looseness or tightness at that time, how zoned in I am. I can see when I hesitate, when I’m unsure about a form... My sketches end when they’re abandoned. I lose focus. I’m thinking its better to quit at that point, rather than labor over half-hearted details. But, at times, I still manage to kill the initial power of a sketch from overwork! I never know until I‘ve done it. Then I look at it later and wish I had left it at 80%...

These are all quick sketches, most colored in watercolor. Some of these may be added to in the future, but it is done from memory, and not a return to the subject. Though I will go back to the place and start another piece. I love going to a spot multiple times, to see the changes, both subtle and dramatic.

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