ArtWrite 9/5: Peggi Kroll Roberts
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
A sketch can reveal an artist’s process, but it can also be a beautiful or compelling stop en route to the painting or sculpture it becomes. A framed sketch can land on the walls of art museums alongside fully realized work; a whole exhibition might be devoted to an artist’s sketches. But to see the written equivalent, you’d likely have to make an appointment at the archives of a university.
My father wrote comedy sketches in the 50s. I could tell you about an amusing person at a party and say, “he was such a sketch” (though that’s probably not the word I’d use). Yet there’s no universal noun for the work writers do in advance, only names for where they do it: journals, notebooks, tiny scraps of paper, index cards, or texts to themselves. These are the places where writers work out ideas, capture images, and record observations and conversations. Where they are free to play. Where process is honored over product.