Sketch & Draw

An Artist’s Notebooks


It’s not often we get such an intimate look inside the creative process of an artist. An exhibition in London is showing the private notebooks of Joe Tilson, one of the founders of British pop art. Dating from 1970, they are exhibited with prints that prompted the entries.


Joe Tilson trained as a carpenter, attended the Royal College of Art with Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Patrick Caulfield and David Hockney and taught in New York in the late 1960s.  Dissatisfied with the consumer society the art that he and his contemporaries had helped to highlight, he turned his focus to cultural history in the early 1970s, the period when the notebooks began.

Tilson - notebookThese personal notebooks full of his notes, lists, poetry, studies, drawings, photographs and his insights into art, literature and cultural history give unprecedented insight into Tilson’s working methods and the philosophy that governs his work and life.

See decades of his prints, here.

See more at Alan Cristea Gallery.

5 replies »

  1. Very cool. You might want to check out my post “Verbatim.” My colleagues had an exhibition in which they produced art based solely on their sketchbooks. I addressed a lot of similar themes and issues that you have here. Check it out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really beautiful! Sometimes we can think that notebooks and our scribbled ideas are not art or beautiful, but this is a clear example of how beautiful the artistic process is.


  3. Fascinating – that would be a really cool exhibit to see, a secret glimpse inside the artist. I always enjoy seeing these notebooks from friends, those with a lot more talent that I have!


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