Yesterday I got to thumb through some seriously fantastic sketchbooks from local artist Reuben Rude. His solo show at Luna Rienne Gallery, "The Making Of", sheds light on his creative process, and at such an exciting point in this artist's career. Rude just wrapped up a mural at the Bernal Heights Public Library and is currently preparing for a (very) large-scale commission at the Grand Hyatt in Union Square.
This exhibition reminded me that maintaining a sketchbook serves as a powerful assessment tool for artists and students alike. Everything from Rude's first drafts to meticulously layered, mixed-media works, seemed to be plotted out in his chronologically arranged sketchbooks. In addition to revealing progression, keeping a sketchbook allows great freedom. Rude doesn't hesitate to fill the entire page, taking up a full two-page spread in most cases. It's as if he's completely fearless, letting his wildest thoughts roam freely in these books. We've seen the benefits of doodling in class, encouraging your students to keep a sketchbook just might be what it takes for them to make deeper, visual connections.