Today’s session is a meditative practice to make you feel calm and centered. All you need is a pen, some paper, and something organic, complex and random to draw. Danny will explain what that means in the video. Today’s lesson is from the course: “Seeing”. More here.
I just uploaded a zillion sketchbook tours from various random points in my library. They’re all on my YouTube channel now and now magically embedded here too.
It’s to celebrate the launch of our new kourse, A Zillion Ways To Fill Your Sketchbook. This kourse is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. It’s basically an encyclopedic review of what is so freaking amazing about sketchbook art. Trust me, my feeble tours are a mere blip in the firmament of this vast masterwork. Hope you’ll join us.
Meanwhile, here’re the trailer and a dozen tours.
When I first landed in America, everything was overwhelming and new and deluxe. Even a 29¢ pen had the power to impress me mightily.
A sacred memory from the Holy Land. Another heart-wrenching chapter in my endless journey towards manhood.
Another gripping episode about my early years. Abused, ignored, mistreated. Me. And my writing tools.
In this week’s episode, I explore the work of American illustrator Eric Sloane. And by American, I mean AMERICAN!
In his many books, he explores Americana in lots of forms — from the tools early farmers used to the huge skies of the plains to the old barns of Pennsylvania to American wood to early cross-country car trips and much more. His ink drawings have a classic, bygone feel, and he is a master of the dip pen. ANd he makes some dandy url paintings too.
I made the mistake of doing this presentation live on Facebook rather than using my better cameras and mics in the more controlled way I usually have been doing. I tried it in the interest of capturing live conversation with viewers but I don’t think it’s worth the loss in quality.
Anyway, no slight to Mr. Sloane, who I think was a brilliant artist who has long inspired my own.
There’s a line running through my life — a line drawn by a handful of different pens. I will trace that line in a series of short films to be released episodically, starting today. I hope you enjoy “My Life in Pens”.
Today I shared a bunch of my favorite self published books. I hope they inspire you to make something awesome! Here are the book I discussed and how to get ’em, for your own library.
- Richard Bell
- Walt Taylor
- Miguel Herranz
- Trevor Romain
- Michael Nobbs
- Jason Das
- Juliana Coles
- Johnnene Maddison
- Andrea Joseph
- Summer Pierre
- Eraser Carved Portraits Steven Sloan
- Eraser Carver’s Quarterly
- Steven B. Reddy
- Bryce Wymer
- Of Great and Mortal Men
- Keith Miller
- Marloes de Vries
- Illustration Nation
And here’s some more info on Illustration Nation, our brand new kourse:
The great New Yorker artist has loads of inspiring ideas in every page of this 1954 classic. I love the way he uses calligraphy, simple drawings, thumbprints and collage to make witty, insightful comments about being human. Join me as I turns the pages.
Books from this episode:
• The Passport by Saul Steinberg
I love art but there are times I worry I’m doing it wrong. Like when I go to a Chelsea gallery and I am mystified by what’s hangin on the walls. Or when I go to the Met and am absolutely knackered after just half an hour of walking around. Or when I can’t remember whether it’s Manet or Monet. Or when I find myself getting super irritated by the way other people behave in the Whitney, snapping Instagrams and saying inane things about the Biennial.
I never studied art or art history and, truth be told, there are times I feel like I have missed something significant. It’s like drinking fine wine or watching the NFL; I can’t tell what I actually like or have any idea how to discuss it.
It all just seems sort of heavy — unnecessarily so.
That’s why I wanted to use my role at Sketchbook Skool as an excuse to learn more and fill this deficit in myself and my friends. When my pal Bridget wrote a book on the subject, a sort of primer on art appreciation without fear, loathing and manbuns, I thought it would be worth spending some time bringing it to life in an online kourse.
We spend months working on it, turning a book without illustrations into a dozen and a half visually dynamic videos, full of cool locations and special effects and animations to make the ideas come alive.
You’re probably saying, “what are you on about? Stop whinging and go to the New Museum like a man.”
You’re probably saying, “what are you on about? Of course, I like art, that’s why I even bother reading your stupid blog. Stop whinging and go to the New Museum like a man.”
But the fact is that we rarely talk about art the way we talk about movies or Netflix shows (or maybe I just have the wrong friends).We don’t have the guts or the vocabulary, we feel pretentious, we don’t know how or with who to talk about it. Yes, you too, with your yellowing Art History diploma, when was the last time you just sat around with some pals guffawing about Dan Flavin? Gimme a break.
Any way, let me stop insulting you long enough to ask you to join me on Monday when our new kourse, How Art Can Make You Happy debuts at Sketchbook Skool. It’s less than a latte and a ticket to MOMA and it’ll just take you a jolly afternoon to absorb it.
I really want to hear what you have to say and this will be a safe and fun place to do it. I hope to see you in klass. Or I’ll snub you at the Gug.
P.S. And, because I love you and really think this will be worth your while, I’ve convinced the brass at Sketchbook Skool to give you a sample lesson, absolutely free. You’ll have to pay for the rest when you sign up for the kourse here.