I'm giving a talk next Monday, to an art foundation class, and again the following Tuesday at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, for Art & Coffee. Both will be focused on sketchbooks and my experience, process, inspirations, etc.

I asked my sister Katie to bring up a box of my sketchbooks that I brought home last time I moved, and sat down last night to look through them all. They span from just prior to my freshman year at VCU, to... now. Drawings, text, class notes, ramblings, photos; it's all there.
I really enjoy writing, and I tend to forget faster than a fish, so I keep a written journal (ok a diary, whatever) primarily for record keeping and also for some stream of consciousness venting. But, looking through my past sketchbooks made me realize how accurate of a record-keeping device it really is. In my journal, I write down more specifics (precise dates and times and actions, like it really matters), but in my sketchbooks, I can thumb through the pages and remember exactly where I was, the events surrounding that moment, the people I was spending time with, how I felt, etc. It's much more visceral and evocative than my words. Which is why, I suppose, I was an art major, not english!
I'll continue to methodically log my day-to-day, because I feel an almost OCD compulsion to do so, but I've come to the realization that my sketchbooks are also a valuable record of my life and artistic growth. Not to mention a sanctuary for "observation, exploration, imagination, and interpretation/design" to quote the great and influential Sterling Hundley. This realization coming just in time for my lectures on the subject. I had major speech-writers block, grounded largely in nervous fear, but a teacher at visarts, Jay Sharpe, in passing gave me some really good advice the other day that made me realize I DO have a lot to say about my art and my art within sketchbooks.
So, it's not without hesitation that I broadcast this, but anyone interested is welcome and encouraged to come to my Art & Coffee lecture at Visarts April 26th, 9:30-10:30 am.

Here's the little blurb wrote on it:
April 26: Art of the Sketchbook
Explore the art of the sketchbook with local artist Kristy Heilenday as she takes you through the vast and various ways to use your sketchbook as a means of observation, exploration, and imagination. Don’t forget to bring your sketchbook!

9 thoughts on “Sketchbooks!!

  1. yeah, you're welcome for those sketchbooks! I almost hocked them on the black market for gas money.

  2. By the way, I wish I could make it! I'm sorry it is on a weekday.. maybe next one :)

  3. sounds cool! just remember to picture everyone in the audience in their underwear!

  4. Thanks everyone! Rendez, are you just saying that because you'll be in the audience? hah kidding!

  5. I'll make sure to wear my thundercats underoos

  6. Wish I could catch it, gonna be getting my wisdom teeth out the same day you'll be giving wisdom. But good luck!

  7. Kristine, I'm sorry I missed your talk, I would have loved to see it. I wonder what you think about how you are gonna see your earliest sketchbooks ten years from now, do you think you'll remember exactly where you were and who you were with at the time you made the image, or what you were feeling? I feel like even in my earliest ones I do, it's it's almost like an equal companion to my photo albums, specifically of people I knew during the time I drew those images. We haven't hung out in forever, we should change that!! :)

  8. Ally, YES, let's meet up soon! And yes, I think in 10 years it will be the same. I mean, I forget a ton, but drawings for some reason bring certain things back more vividly. Let's talk in person more!


thanks for your feedback!