This is a page out of an ongoing sketchbook that was done three years ago. I started keeping a sketchbook back when I was teaching an art class at a local college. I had the students doing it so I thought I should do it right along with them and I have been carying one around with me off and on ever since. I have found it to be a very helpful practice.
When you pull a little sketchbook out of your pocket and begin to draw what is before you, it helps you to connect in a deeper way with your environment. When you connect to where you are through drawing you are opening yourself up, and when you open up in this way you prepare yourself to receive and be enriched. As an example, when I was at the Breathe Owl Breathe concert last Friday night I pulled out my sketch book and began drawing the singer in the opening act. As I drew him and spent time with the shape of his head, the texture of his beard and the way he picked his Silvertone electric guitar, I began to feel a connection with him and his music in a way that I think was deeper than had I just been sitting and listening. Perhaps because drawing is a physical act - in response to what we see and where we are - that it brings your awareness to a higher level. I should say here that drawing from you imagination rather than what you see is a different approach and may have a different outcome.
My friend in NYC Danny Gregory put together a really beautiful book called An Illustrated Life that features artists from all over the world who keep various kinds of sketchbooks as visual journals of their creative journey. I am also featured in this book (along with such luminaries as Robert Crumb). And what is kind of extra cool about this book is what the artist share regarding what motivates them to keep a sketchbook. Here is a little film about the book.