551. July 22…They’re called… “Sketch books”….for a reason…I know…I know…

“Points Unknown” ©2011 Robert Redus

“Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.” – Samuel Butler

I recently began planning paintings…you know drawing thumbnail sketches to get my idea… “out there”…so that I could revisit it at some later date…by no means does planning a painting …mean anything much more than a string around my finger…long enough to get the idea then abandon the reminder…for the next reminder…

planning paintings has never really made sense to me…nor has it been very important…not because the idea has to be so spontaneous and something gets lost in the plan…but frankly I just haven’t done much of it so the reason to do it doesn’t sit high up there on my “Things to do before I start a painting” list…but I think I want to start planning paintings a little more…

I have many sketch books…pages filled front and back…exclamation marks and circled the ideas I thought were stellar…the ones that stood above the rest…the ones that were in my mind the “difference makers”….

I once saw an exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts…it was nothing but sketch books from many different well known artists…the one that really moved me…was one of Henry Moore’s sketch books…it was a well planned thoroughly calculated art work in itself…everything was written like that of an architects hand… the drawings were well thought out and I could easily see what Mr. Moore had to do to build the piece of work…he in essence had planned the project…and what it was going to take to execute it….I left there thinking that his method built in some level of ease in the process of creating the beautiful sculpture that he did…

as artists we have a multitude of ideas that clutter the space…and in the midst of the frenzy…the ideas can drift out of reach…out of sight…and often out of mind…some days when I sit and think about my ideas…I might only get pieces of them…and try as I may…am missing some key element of the idea that makes me exclaim out loud… “What was I thinking about’….because without that one key element….I see myself standing there with paint in my hand…kind of like I’m playing Pictionary….

writing the ideas down can be confusing as well…especially if there is no sound explanation along with it…as it’s a drawing of some lines and an exclamation mark with a circle around it and dated sometime in 2009…so lately I’ve decide the time to remember it far outweighs the “Hurry” I pretend to be in most of the time…and now I’m really being careful about putting down my ideas and putting them down so they make sense and will make sense 3 years from now….maybe careful is the wrong word…accurate fits better…so I know clearly what it is I’m looking at…what it is supposed to be…and I can get out of the “bigger than a bread box”…thinking…and wipe the WTF look off of my face instantly….

it’s important in some way to know what we want to produce…how we want to build it…and have a general idea of what it looks like on paper and in the gray matter…the word “Recollect”….originates from the Latin word “Recollectus” which means to “Collect again”…..

and this year I’m turning 55…I’d rather look at a sketch book to Reollectus….than to rely exclusively on my ability to Recollectus…if you know what I mean….

“Knowing the rules and remembering the rules are two completely different things.” – Simon Travaglia


  1. Oh I can so relate to this, it is just like writing a book. You get these ideas and write down notes that make no sense when you finally get to the task at hand of putting them on paper/computer. So I decided a different approach to recollectus, i turned my ideas into chapter titles, when I had a thought I would make it the the title of a chapter so that when I sat down to write and looked at the notes instead of a jumble of exclamation points and words I was immediately reminded of the story! Works well when you turn 56 too! : ) xoxox Ellen


    1. wow! what a great idea Ellen…with painting…the problem lies in the original drawing…and without a detailed… “what’s it all about”…the interpretation might change when I see it a few years later…and I’m making all kinds of new stuff up about an idea that was once a good one…or at least I think it was…how’s the book coming?


      1. 2 books and they are coming along, one is done. I am waiting on some pictures. The other is a bundle of life stories with pictures so it is moving a bit slower but moving. I will be done with that one in about a year maybe less. xoxox. sounds like you are motivated!


    1. Maybe a loose leaf notebook…tear out all of the pages of every journal just before the “Fizzle”…store them in the notebook…looks like a journal and a lifetime of writing…and you don’t have to admit the ADD thing….


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