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Woodring: Problematic - Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2012 h/c

Woodring: Problematic - Sketchbook Drawings 2004-2012 h/c back

Jim Woodring


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

Very tempted to reproduce Jim’s entire foreword verbatim in which he extols the virtues of moleskine sketchbooks, talking about how, because they are so small and the paper so fragile, you simply can’t do finished, careful work in one, or use tippex to correct mistakes because it’s beige not white paper! Plus how they lean towards being held in the hand for quick sketches, rather than put on the table for more careful, measured, polished work. Makes perfect sense really. This book is moleskin size-ish only in that it is approximately A5 width and height, but is about an inch thick and sumptuously bound as a black leather effect hardcover, complete with some crazy heraldry as a title. Anyway instead of quoting it all I will merely mention the last paragraph...

“I’ve resisted the temptation to clean up or finish any of these images for print in the belief that what makes a sketch worthwhile is its authenticity as a document of the moment spontaneously captured. Revisiting the 5000+ images in the books made me realise how many thoughts, sights and observations flit through one’s consciousness during the day, and how very few of them are recorded. Something ought to be done about that...”

Actually, just thinking about it, that paragraph could give you a misapprehension about the contents of this sketchbook, because whilst there is indeed the odd everyday observation, the vast majority of it is Frank-related musings, thumbnails and roughs. Where the everyday does intrude, such as a sketch of a post office worker, it’s not unusual to find his head replaced with something straight out of the pages of THE FRANK BOOK. This work then, I suppose, given its dimensions, is almost a PORTABLE FRANK!
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