January 27, 2006
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by Barbara M. Stecher

Subtitled "How to Create a Delightful Journal of Your Travels at Home and Abroad", this hard-to find book (now available at Eastgate) thinks clearly about the reasons people -- artists and non-artists alike -- should sketch in spare moments, and how they can do this effectively and without annoying their companions. Stecher advocates an interesting combination of tools: preliminary pencil sketches, followed immediately by direct drawing in ink once proportions are roughed in, and then followed up at leisure with watercolor washes.

Though Stecher thinks of sketchbooking as a travel activity, it might well apply with even more profit to work life. It might be fun, twenty years on, to have sketches from your college dorm. How about a quick drawing of the waiting room before your first big VC pitch, or the locker room of the rookie-league team that signed you after college? In any case, it might help calm the butterflies and give you some space to reflect on the moment. Tree at my window...