Artist Virginia Kelley was looking to fill a new sketchbook. As her husband read the morning paper over eggs and coffee, she doodled various ideas in her new book. Before long, a quotation by a Korean artist, came to mind. Painter of many views of Mt. Fuji, Katsushika Hokusai wrote:
“It struck me to take one thing in life and regard it from many viewpoints, as a focus for my being, and perhaps as a penance for alternatives missed.”
The sketchbook project took flight!
Art on the Menu is a smorgasbord of experiences as seen one breakfast at a time. It illuminates the ups and downs of a marriage and looks at casual dining rituals. Best of all, it explores the craft of drawing and sketchbook-keeping with an overload of ingenuity generously peppered with playfulness and humor. A reader who is also a practicing artist will see ways to adopt the many ideas and techniques to their own work. Non-artists are just as welcome to pull up a chair and imbibe. This book is entertaining, easily digestible, and zestfully seasoned. Set aside preconceptions about sketchbooks and open any page of Art on the Menu to be surprised and intrigued. Little escapes this artist’s eye.
While the entire project was a test of endurance, over time it became as sustaining as that first meal of the day. The project kept growing over many years - eventually filling seventeen sketchbooks. The biggest and most rewarding payoff: No two drawings of the over 400 are even remotely the same. If your curiosity and voyeuristic tendencies aren’t yet aroused, at the very least, ask yourself who, willingly, (and with a clear head) does this? Then, grab a cup of coffee and hop in for a well-deserved, enjoyable browse.
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