The Journal As a Path

In This Chapter

V Why keep a sketchbook journal?

V A journal of your own

V Different kinds of journals

V The Zen of meditative drawing

To capture the unmeasurable, you must learn to notice it.

—Hannah Hinchman, A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place (New York: W.W. Norton, 1999).

The journal as a path, a sense of place, and the journey to get there are paraphrases from the title of a lovely book by Hannah Hinchman. Keeping a journal is a great way to record your thoughts and feelings, your responses, your goals, and your dreams. And a sketchbook journal is a place to record, describe, or just jot down—in drawings as well as words—where you have been, are now, and want to go.

In this chapter, we'll explore the pleasures of keeping a journal of your own, from the why to the wherefore. In addition, we'll be sneaking a peek at the journals of working artists, from Georgia O'Keeffe to some of our friends and neighbors.

You can make your journal anything from a mixed bag—including shopping and to-do lists, if you want—to a separate sketchbook for drawing. Even then, you can annotate your drawings to remind you of details or the feelings you had as you were drawing, or why you picked the subject you picked. What you were thinking or feeling can get lost in the rush of busy days, after all, and a journal provides the means to keep those moments with you and be able to go back to them for inspiration or solace—or to simply remember.

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