Journals

About the Journals

In 1983, I received my first National Endowment for the Arts Grant and spent nine weeks in Europe beginning in London moving on to France, Spain, Italy and Greece. With very little research under my belt and no language skills I followed the grand tour blindly trying to make sense of it all. One day while standing in front of Giotto's 'Death of Saint Francis' it hit me that as long as I was looking at a painting, drawing from a painting or just plain painting, I was home and in the best company. It was on that first trip that I began an ongoing dialog with my favorite dead artists through sketchbooks and studies of their work. I wanted to 'own' the experience of having made the painting by tracing the artist's steps in my sketchbook. Turning these pages I can hear the ambient bird-songs, traffic and conversations that accompanied me as I worked. On the road I draw in museums, paint on location over lunch and copy the post cards in my hotel room at night adding gouache and gold leaf. I collect ugly babies, bloody feet, architectural embellishments and document the antics of my fellow travelers. At home these books are my 'visual laboratory', the research for my paintings.  

Lulu's rules for keeping a sketchbook:

Uno: Never, ever tear out a page unless you sell it, you can replace it with a copy!
Due: Start on the third page to get your courage up.
Tre: Go Back to the first page and make a self portrait when you've got the nerve.
Quattro:  Strap your journal to your body, don't leave home without it.
Cinque:  A little gold leaf and some color peps up a page.
Sei: Always carry a pencil with you, many museums won't let you use ink.