I was browsing the art shelves at a great little used book store, "The Used Book Emporium" in Longmont, Colorado. I was on a sketchbookbinge, and what should reveal itself on that shelf, but a copy of Sketching School by author Judy Martin.
It's dust jacket front promised 'complete with projects and a gallery of inspirational drawings. The back of the dust jacket followed up with 'let sketching school be your personal tutor, 40 specially designed projects, stepbystep instruction, sketching demonstrations by leading artists'. What's not to love about all that, right?
The book opens, and it's full of Stan Smith drawings (plus others) which is an auto-magnet. Of course, I purchase the book.
We return home to Iowa, perusing the visual content of the book on the way :). Back at home I decide I need to get into the text of the book as well. After all, it is a project book, designed to help me learn.
I've found the best way to do an instructional book is read the project and then DO IT, before moving on to the next. Hmmm. The problems begin. Where are those promised projects? Where is that stepbystep instruction? Ok, I did find a couple of 'sketching demonstrations by leading artists', but what about those '40 specially designed projects' the dust jacket print told me about? I tried to keep going, tried to find the 'meat' of the text, kept telling myself just keep working your way thorough it. The author's message will become clear shortly. Nope. Didn't happen.
If I were a betting woman (I'm not) I'd bet that this book was the result of a difference of opinion between author and editor. One of them thought it should be instructional, the other wanted it to be inspirational. So whoever wanted it to be inspirational kind of won. I will keep the book on my shelf because of the very inspirational Stan Smith sketches included in the book. Will I ever attempt to read the text again? Not any time soon.
Do I recommend you buy a copy? Only if you think your checkbook owes you some eye candy! I regretfully report the text of the book as 'not helpful'.