Looking Back to Move Forward

 In My Blogs



How many of you, dear readers, keep a journal or a sketchbook?

How many of you take the time to look back into your thoughts and drawings from past years?

Recently, I had reason to look back and decided a ten-year time period would be sufficient. What I found striking and helpful are the recurring images and themes even though interpreted in multiple ways.


Looking Back to Move Forward, Ann Grasso Pattern ArtSince my earliest childhood memory, I have loved drawing with simple shapes to describe complex details: circle, square and triangle.
While studying in the 90’s, I came across Sengai Gibbon’s drawing, read from right to left in Japanese.



Seeing my ideas consistently demonstrated in images and words fortifies in two ways:

  1. Reinforces current work
  2. Clarifies how I have changed

Both are valuable.


Looking Back to Move Forward, Ann Grasso Pattern Art
Looking Back to Move Forward, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

Image 1 is from 2013 and image 2 is from 2017 showing symbols that have remained consistent from well before 2013.

Writing blogs is a form of journaling. Initially, I write blogs for myself in order to resolve my thoughts. Then a few drafts later, the writing is sent out into the world where it may find some human potting soil.

Today’s blog is really not about me except to use my sketchbooks as an example for why they are worthwhile. My sketchbooks are filled with thoughts, copied quotes from what I am reading, print photos of what I find on line that are in concert with current projects, and broadly sketched visuals and techniques I find intriguing. Most of my sketches never become finished projects. Are they a waste of time? I don’t think so. They capture moments in time and continue to inform current work. Following is a list summarizing my “looking back.”


paperpen and ink/colored pencil
geometric formsfelt
kimonossocial justice
upcycle materialsplatform: creativity is part of each of us



Looking Back to Move Forward; Ann Grasso Pattern Art2003 techniques for capturing textiles; I include drawn textiles in many backgrounds of finished art work.


Looking Back to Move Forward2008, unusual kimono in Mingei Museum, Tokyo. Photos not allowed.


If you look back at your sketchbooks, what will they tell about you?

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Buster Browns and Mary Janes, Ann Grasso Pattern ArtFun