Cataloging Sketchbooks

sketchbooksSometimes I can spend so long looking for a particular drawing amongst the stacks of my sketchbooks in the attic that I realise it’s going to be quicker to redraw it.

For the past two years I’ve been writing my Wild Yorkshire nature diary for The Dalesman magazine and, a couple of weeks ago working against the clock to get my November article off, I found that even a couple of sketches from November last year had gone astray.

They’re there somewhere but I use so many different sized sketchbooks simultaneously that I couldn’t track it down.

I decided that it was about time that I settled down to cataloging my sketchbooks, so that I can use them as a picture archive. Thanks to my long-running online nature diary come drawing journal I can usually track down the date that I drew a particular drawing so I’m writing a start and a finish date on a sticky label for each sketchbook and then writing a few words to indicate content.

If I line up each size of sketchbook on the shelves in date order, it shouldn’t take too long to track down any sketch even if I can’t remember what size book I drew it in. If I can work out how to do it, I’ll enter each sketchbook on a database as well.

‘Do you mind if I draw you?’

Daler sketchbook 1979It’s fascinating going right back with my sketchbooks. For instance, this Daler A5 portrait format hardback from spring 1979  when I was starting on my Britain sketchbook for Collins features ‘People, buses, zoo and Hathersage’.

Amongst those sketches is an attractive young woman who I met in a pub when I asked if she’d mind if I drew her.

I still see her a lot today as we got married four years later!


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