From My Earliest Art Journals on Design

W00 BECK DESIGN JOURNALS 3I came across my old architectural journals the other day.
Way way back in time I practiced architecture — in another life!
Back in the old days we didn’t call it art journaling, it was just what many of us did —
kept a sketchbook/journal for our ideas.
I had time to muse today — we are finally OFF for a few days.

Ennis_House_front_view_2005 Mike Dillon copyThe  one above is an early sketch from
my first book, drawn while on tour at the
Ennis House (Frank Lloyd Wright).
I may have been in school at the time.  Notice I misspelled Ennis thinking the owners
were related to the Innes, from another historical house in Los Angeles
or it was my dyslexia switching the letters!

I was an early Urban Sketcher before you needed a badge!

The journals were lovely Chinese books I bought in Chinatown in San Francisco,
black and white patterned paper with red spines and tightly lined paper.
Everything that impressed me went into them, even personal things about my boyfriend, Hricak, and my professors, especially the very boring ones, like Roger Sherwood.
It was my journal, and I didn’t differentiate what I wrote in it!
I have five of these journals, and I value them today.

USC’s professors, with the exception of Ed Niles and Pierre Koenig,
never exposed us to modern architecture, but focused on classical architecture.
When I graduated and had the money to subscribe to Abitaré and GA I learned of the world I loved (Graves and Gwathmey and Kahn), not the world I’d been taught.
I “scrap-booked” these into the journal as well, above.

W00 BECK DESIGN JOURNALS 10As I began designing myself, I also took notes and drew little design vignettes,
sometimes copying a portion of my plans and then playing with them in the journal,
drawing them over and over while figuring some design problem.
Arco’s corporate offices in Long Beach (Luckman Partnership, Architects,
Kaneko Laff, Interiors) went into an undulating building,
and the sketches above are a few I can share, as
I had the pleasure of designing the plans for the five floors.
Management went inside with glass blocks, and so the undulating fenestration was an open plan on many floors where all day long everyone could see out the windows.

I’ve always kept “art journals” — for cooking, for design,
sketching for fine art, and now just for fun.


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Thanks to Wikipedia and to Mike Dillon for the Ennis House.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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15 Responses to From My Earliest Art Journals on Design

  1. just lori says:

    I love your annotated designs and sketches. They are inspiring!


  2. Sandi says:

    Love the first journal in this post. A journal of discovery. A journal of learning. Beautiful to see the person in it. So much formality is placed these days on something called a ‘journal’ or ‘sketchbook’. They tend to need to be show pieces. Or that is the way I see it. So much stress: to hold in ones hand a sewn bound book of many blank pages of expensive paper and say to oneself “I am only going to create visually beautiful art in here”.

    Again, I have been inspired by one of your posts. my Nature Journal, which I want to be a showcase of my learning journey, is going to be called “My Nature Journey”. And I am not going to be ashamed of any drawing or painting that ends up in my expensively bound book, because it will be the journey that counts – the learning and fun I have along the way. And the satisfaction at the end of the book to see how far I have come on that journey. And all the memories.

    Thankyou for your blog. Sandi.


    • I hate rules, I really do, and yet, here goes. Rules with sketchbooks: In the beginning don’t buy one so expensive that you are afraid to use it. Then be fearless because you WILL mess up in it. That’s why I like an Aquabee Super Deluxe — great value for the dollars. I use clips or glue when using watercolors in them. I painted a lot of mistakes too! So you begin, and at first looking back you don’t like what you see but then it begins to look better and better!
      Thank you for following me — you have no idea how much it means to me!


  3. Sandi says:

    It’s a pleasure. Your blog is so inspiring.


  4. macjam47 says:

    I love these. My middle son was an architect.


  5. Pingback: My Perfect Journal | D.Katie Powell Art

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