The concept of sketch books was introduced to me in College. Prior to that, all my scribbling, drawings, doodles and sketches were done in the margins of my class notes, and on a freezer paper that my parents used to wrap meat for the old coffin style lift top freezer. The paper was a great drawing surface. It had one wax side, and the other was smooth.......but not slippery. My brother and I filled many of these with drawings that were eventually, and unfortunately all thrown out. It would be fun to have some of those old......and I mean old drawings now. My parents were working folks, and really never placed to much value on that sort of thing. I guess they thought it was just a silly way for children to amuse themselves.
I think sketch books have an important place in developing better draftsmanship and keeping the observation skills honed. Most artist, including myself, do not draw, or use the sketchbook as much as they did in school, or at other times in their careers. An artist is of course, always drawing when painting, but the pure drawing process is sometimes neglected. One can easily ignore this because of being consumed by other things that seem to be more important at the time. Like anything else, the more one practices, the more proficient one becomes at their craft. Same with drawing and painting. Thing that surprises me is how many students do not seem to carry a sketchbook. Many do, and usually they are filled with beautiful drawings, concepts for projects, etc. One would think that it would almost be something that every art school required.
I only have three or four sketchbooks lying around, and I draw in them occasionally when I am sitting in front of a TV program that is not demanding my complete attention. I pick up a magazine and draw images I see, or draw from memory. Sometimes, I sketch from the model in classes along with my students. These are always quick, almost gesture type sketches, that usually never have a high degree of finish. I thought it might be fun, and of possible interest to post a few of these pages.