Here at Sketchbook Skool, we take a lot of pride in our fakulty and our mission, art for all. But the single most valuable product of what we do is the community that emerges when people from all over the world engage with their surroundings in a new way, and in turn, with each other. Students are constantly sharing their art and their feelings in and out of the klassroom and sometimes, people post things online that really stand out to us. Every day, someone is sharing something new and this week, we want to share something that really speaks to our goals and why we’re all here in the first place: to connect. Consider this our first guest blogpost from our community and meet artist and fellow Sketchbook Skool enthusiast, Louise Fletcher.
Today I think I finally got the value of sketchbooking in and of itself - rather than the value of making nice art, or beautiful pages (which I think are also important but maybe not the ‘be all and end all’ I thought they were). 20 years ago, my dad died. He was very handy and loved making models and when he became ill he was in the middle of working on a model boat. Last year my mum was clearing out in preparation for a move and found the beaten-up old model in a battered box in the loft. I have a friend who is also handy and she gave it to him. She figured that if he could make it work, he and his son would sail it and have fun. Little did I know that my friend was painstakingly restoring the boat, resolving all kinds of problems, and spending hours on creating replacements for missing parts. And what’s more, that he was doing all that so he could present it back to me as a keepsake. When he gave it to me, I was appreciative - how could you not be? But tonight, on the anniversary of my dad’s death, I spent time drawing the boat. The drawing didn’t come out as I had hoped, but what did happen is much much better. Drawing the boat made me think about my dad and all the good times we shared and the different handmade toys he gave me over the years and how much I loved him. But it also made me truly reflect on my friend’s gesture. As I drew the various parts of the boat, I remembered him telling me how he had crafted a windscreen out of spare plastic, and made the masts out of wire that he painted to match the image on the box. And I recalled the entire evening he spent wrestling with a problem that caused the rudder not to work. Between then and now, all sorts of things have happened in my life … stress, commitments, let-downs, over-work … but the simple act of drawing this boat has made all that fall away and allowed me to appreciate how lucky I am. Lucky to have the parents I have, and lucky to have the friends I have. Who needs to create the Mona Lisa when you can get all that from a wonky drawing?
You can learn more about Louise by checking out her art here.