Vered Eliezri Ganchrow

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a Quotation


Some thoughts about my trustworthy sketchbook

Folded within the pages of my sketchbook are a collection of doodles, thoughts, ideas, inner jokes and moments when I am in awe of the world. The sketchbook is a friend, a “listening eye” that helps me to really look and see. Like a secret chest holding moments of life and thoughts, the book stores them for me, so I can turn its pages and look at them over and over again.

This friend knows that things are transient and ever changing. The sketch, thought, doodle and hesitant line aren’t perfect or complete, but rather a continuous process. The drawing is never finished. It is even flawed. The sketchbook stores within the open, unplanned, fractured things. These lead me to better understand what is concealed, and to birth a creation from the mystery.
Many times, a sketch originating in the sketchbook develops and becomes present beyond the confines of the book.

Figure 1 – 2015 Sketches of marine fossils. This was the origin of the “Primeval Soup” project in engraving.

A sketchbook, like any other book, has a book cover, a beginning, a development, a middle and an ending. But the sketchbook’s pages are blank. You are the “author”. Flipping its pages marks the passage of time, changing from page to page. The speed of filling the book with sketches (and sometimes text) bears witness to the flow and the “narrative development”. The sketches and the book also refer to each other internally. Like various types of books in this world – maybe my sketchbook has a genre? It contains observations, possible designs, hopping from one subject to another, searching for the right shape and more ruminations. It is a genre without committing to a genre. The style can change within the book.

Once, I started a new sketchbook planning to make it the most beautiful one of all and even sending it to a sketchbook competition (yes, it’s a real thing). On second thought, I gave up on the idea. It is a personal space for me, for trials and failures, full of moods and “unpretty” attempts. Leafing through the pages serves me first and foremost. I am the only observer of its development and changing from beginning to end.

Figure 2 – Sketches for the graphic novel “Wilding Earth Girl”

2018 סקיצות לנובלה גרפית “פראית אדמה”

Sometimes I think that I am in a transition period. Turns out it is not a period. It is simply another period.That’s what I have learned from sketchbooks that piled up from many periods: school, searching, the Asia trip, the Turquoise period, terrorist attacks season, and the year I lived in a different city. The sad period, the year of ideas, the “just right” period and the most recent one.

No one regrets more than I do those three lost books.

No one regrets more than I do the significant periods in which I did not have this wonderful friend by my side.

Sometimes a period has passed as did also the quality time spent with the sketchbook, and some blank pages remain which do not fit the next season. Sometimes I run out of pages in the book but the next one has yet to be purchased, so meanwhile only appendages are added, pages fly around and notes crowd together within it. Density.

Figure 3 – 2009 A small sketchbook that traveled with me on a trip to SouthEast Asia

2009 ספר סקיצות קטן שהיה איתי בטיול בדרום מזרח אסיה

Starting a new Sketchbook is not Easy. Blank Pages Bound Together Waiting to be Filled.

Sacred pages. White. Blank. So beautiful. My first fear is to ruin the beauty of the empty page. Deep breath – we can overcome this. I’ve managed to open the book and find a pencil somewhere. The page has been opened and realizes its purpose. I respect its wishes. May the drawings commence. I need to shed more of my fears. So what if it doesn’t come out nice? It’s just a sketch. It’s for my eyes only. I can work with weak lines and strengthen only the good ones. The good lines already exist in my hand and move into the pencil. The magic happens when the pencil makes contact with the page. That’s it. We are on our way.

Figure 4 &5 – 2017 “Roaming and Sketching” in Har Adar Forest

Figure 4 &5 – 2017 “Roaming and Sketching” in Har Adar Forest

A small sketchbook fits in your bag, allows mobility and fills up quickly.

A big sketchbook shows a real intention to commit to fill it and find the best conditions for concentration.

A sketchbook with high quality paper makes me uncomfortable. The paper sets a high standard and defies placing hesitations on it. Like fancy shoes.

Sketchbooks from recycled “noisy” newspapers are too loud for my pencil and take over my delicate lines.
And yet, it is crucial to get some kind of sketchbook -a different one each time and get used to it. Like old slippers.


Figure 6 – 2016 Drawings in a recycled sketchbook, Kyrgyzstan

Why a Sketchbook instead of Drawing with a Smartphone / Tablet?

Yes. There is a wonderful option of drawing on my smartphone. I have a thin stylus and a screen. I have indeed filled it with characters while waiting in line. I used to fill in “holes” during the day in the big city in a cafe, staring at people and drawing them. It’s wonderful. Not a bad tool at all. And an excellent tool to do it covertly. Just like everyone around me who is stuck in their screens most of the time, so am I. But I miss the touch of the pencil with the paper. The screen doesn’t have the rustle of the pencil drawing and the line appears a few milliseconds later than my movement. In addition – the format of the phone is too small with inconvenient proportions. Having said this, I am sharing some characters I sketched on my phone that helped me turn waiting time into quality time used to draw my observations.

Figure 4 – 2019 Smartphone sketching Note8 

Figure 5 – 2019 Square sketchbook, Japan

I chose pages from recent years’ sketchbooks. These are periods of drawing by observing or from imagination at different regions that I happened to walkabout. Times of personal visual quests and ideas that will turn into an illustration / engraving / animation or a story. The sketches portrayed here are just inkling from my sketchbooks. What else is hidden in those pages? Not telling. It’s a secret.  

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