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Katerina Husar Lazarova


Sketchbook Chronicles: From Chaos to Canvas

Within the domain of art schools and studios, there's a constant buzz about sketchbooks. It is a tool hailed as a training ground, a playground for ideas, and a sanctuary for budding artists. But let me confess, I've had a complicated relationship with this artistic companion.

Throughout my journey as a painter, I've never been loyal to just one sketchbook. Instead, my sketches could be found across any surface that welcomed a visible pencil stroke. It's not like I didn't try to adhere to the convention. I often felt compelled to carry around a sizable purse or backpack solely to accommodate the sketchbook, not to mention the extra weight it added to my bag. In the end, it always seemed easier to grab a random piece of paper and let my imagination flow.

Yet, as the saying goes, everything has its turning point. For me, it came when I ventured into the world of automatic drawing. Suddenly, my sketchbook transformed from a mere accessory into a portal to another dimension. I needed more than a few spare minutes to dive deep into this process because my freestyle drawing sometimes requires several pages of chaotic doodling where I only furiously scribble with a pencil on paper before my hand calms down. 

And, oh, how my perception of the sketchbook shifted. Now, I needed more than a few spare minutes, which required planning for sketchbook rendezvous. Sketchbook became a sacred space where results weren't expected. I could scribble across pages with reckless abandon, knowing I could erase it all if needed. Also, I could revisit the past, reconfigure previous creations, and layer new lines over the old.

Those sketches that held my gaze and whispered secrets to my soul are outlined with bold strokes of black marker. Some of the pages I dedicated to shaded images where the drawing has become a meditative process focused on concentration.

However, it didn't stop there. These sketches, born from the depths of my creativity, were destined for greater endeavors. Months later, they would make their grand transformation onto canvas. When the moment came to choose which sketch to breathe life into, I would leaf through my collection, now spanning three sketchbooks, and wait for that subtle resonance, the silent call of inspiration, to guide my hand.


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