kristin chapman

Creative Bleed Archive

2011 Sketchbook Tour in San Francisco

10,000 sketchbooks from all over the world on view at the Madrone Studios in San Francisco.

This weekend I got to check out the Art House Co-op 2011 Sketchbook Tour in San Francisco. The exhibit had almost 10,000 sketchbooks from all over the world. Between the two of us we managed to look at 10 books or so in about an hour an half. The gallery space was small for the exhibit and the line was a little long to check out books.  Despite that, the folks with the Art House Co-op were very friendly and well organized. You were only allowed to check out 2 books at a time from one theme, but you could stay as long as the gallery was open, and even swap with other viewers, which alot of people did just to see as much as they could with out waiting in line again.

A page from Rachel DiVanno's sketchbook

Two of my favorites from the 10, were Rachel DiVanno's sketchbook, Enter the Mind of a 15 Year Old Girl and Frankie Pan’s sketchbook. Both artists had unique ways of using the page. DiVanno often used two pages by cutting out shapes that corresponded with her sketch on the following page.  The excerpt above from DiVanno’s sketchbook shows a dress with the skirt cut out, the following page is illustrated with an intricate pattern that fills the negative space on the preceding page. Her sketchbook is filled with high school doodles, poke-a-dots, bubbly letters and jocks. It takes me back to the days of passing notes in class and doodling on text book covers.

A page from Frankie Pan's Sketchbook

Frankie Pan’s sketchbook reminds me of work I have seen in gallery Anno Domini in San Jose. Like DiVanno, Pan started playing with the page by folding up the corners in attempt to make the pages thicker but cleverly working it into the dialogue of his small characters that think out loud for him. Pan plays around with ink smudges, adding color, folding pages and working with mishaps. Pan's book is very simple and very enjoyable to flip through.

Before I go, I have to say how disappointing it was to get a book that was unfinished. I think I got two or three out of the ten that were unfinished. ALL of them made a point to not only leave the blank pages but point out that they ran out of time, blah, blah, blah...why dont you doodle something here. Tear em out, fold em or just leave them be...dont try and make this some sort of "creative interaction" with the audience. You slacked off and ran out of time or things to happens, but dont try play it's ANNOYING and really Disappointing!

I am not sure if I'll participate in the 2012 Sketchbook Project but books are available till October, you can sign up here. I do plan on going to the exhibit when it comes to SF next year and I highly recommend it! K