Monday, March 29, 2010


I know, Moleskine is the new Starbucks for artists. Everyone has one and it is the latest thing. When they started many years ago, they were cool and obscure and known by only a few people. Carrying one around and sitting in a sidewalk cafe sketching and writing made me feel so hip and with it. Now, if you check out their website you can see that they have every kind of book for every kind of need you may have, or may think you have, or haven't even thought of yet. There are journals for wine lovers, movie lovers, food lovers, music lovers, book lovers, and fitness lovers. And in spite of how popular they are, I still love them, and still feel like I am the genius, tortured, lonely artist/writer when I carry mine around. (If you go to their website: you can see one of my sketches on the home page, and more in the customer submission section.)

I used to use the Aquabee Super Deluxe 6" x 9" spiral-bound sketchbook. I still use it actually, but in my continuing quest to carry less, I only use it when I am sure I am going to be sketching. For my day-to-day needs, I now use the Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook. I use it for a multitude of things: pen and ink sketching, painting, pencil drawing, writing, and the pasting in of images. It is a completely portable art studio, diary, travel companion and photo album. (For photos, I print contact images from iPhoto and glue them in with spray adhesive.) It is small, light weight and fits in my pocket. The above photo shows some sample pages from a few of my completed books.

Painting on the paper takes a little getting used to. I think they must use a lot of sizing in the manufacturing process so watercolor tends to resist the paper, but if you apply it boldly with juicy color, you can make it work.

And in a complete departure for my Zen-Simplicity-Travel-Light philosophy, I recently purchased a huge Moleskine Artist Journal that is approximately 11" x 17" when closed and weighs in at around four pounds. I keep it in my car for those occasions when I absolutely have to sketch and paint something really big.

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