Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lost and found - one sketchbook

Tate Britain
© Tate
I'd like to say a very big public "Thank You" to the staff at Tate Britain Tomorrow morning I'm off down to Millbank to retrieve my sketchbook which I lost there last Thursday.

On Sunday I got to the bit in my "who's made a mark this week" about the the "Watercolour" exhibition and thought I'd just scan one of my sketches as a bit of a taster for my review of the exhibition which I had intended to do yesterday.

This was the point at which I discovered that my black Moleskine Sketchbook was not where it should be in my backpack. 

After I had turned all my backpacks out, searched through various piles and rooted through all the unlikely places sketchbooks can get to, I came to the reluctant conclusion that I had lost it.

Then I had to work out where!  The obvious conclusion was I'd left it behind inadvertently at Tate Britain.

I'd been using it all afternoon to do three sketches in the Watercolour exhibition - while at the same time making notes about the exhibition at the back.  (All my sketchbooks work on the principle of images start from the front and notes start from the back and I move on to a new one when they meet up!)  Which meant I had it in my hand when I walked out - straight into the exhibition shop area in the foyer.

I think I must have left it at the till when I paid for my purchases.  Many is the time I have people reminding me to take all my bits and pieces away with me!

Anyway, after the initial panic on Sunday, yesterday I sent Tate Britain an email and explained that I thought I'd lost my sketchbook and described it.  This morning I got a reply saying my email had been sent to the Lost Property People and this afternoon I got a very nice email from a chap called Peter Adams to say they'd got a sketchbook where the first page was Leadenhall Market and the last page was the Bell Tower in Venice (my sketch of the Arthur Melville painting "The Blue Night" in the exhibition) - at which point out I let out a very large whoop and nearly punched the screen of the iMac!  I'm sure all other dedicated sketchers will know the feeling.  The return of the prodigal sketchbook!

I'm going to collect it tomorrow morning - and later tomorrow I will be posting my much delayed review of the exhibition.

What really surprised me was just how just how devastated I felt having lost my Moleskine.  It's one I now use for "quickies" because I mainly use the A4 size Moleskine to sketch in.  Nevertheless I felt like I'd lost a bit of me.  There was a hole which needed filling.   It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up yesterday morning and this morning.

How silly is that?

Anyway - I'm going to be completing every last bit of the frontispiece of all my Moleskines in future.  I normally include my name and a URL for one of my blogs.

However in future it will also have a telephone number, an email address and a notice for a reward!

Has anybody else ever lost a sketchbook?

16 comments:

Nelson Castañeda said...

Nice post and comprehensible story,

Deborah Elmquist said...

Yes, I too lost or more to the point, left my journal/sketchbook on a return flight home from New York City. All my sketches and notes from a week long workshop were in the book. I was sick. The ending was one of those stories that you can't make up. Upon realizing it was gone and knowing I had it on the plane, I called the airlines in Orlando. Yes they had it and would hold it for me. My husband and I took the hour and a half trip only to find that it wasn't my book. Just as we started to turn away from the desk we spotted a worker with my journal in his hand. I yelled and he stopped. "That's mine," I said. The irony was that the description I gave wasn't even close to the one they said they had but for some reason they said it was mine. If they had really paid attention to my description, they would have said it wasn't mine and I wouldn't have driven all that way and wouldn't have seen the worker with it in his hand. Strange but true.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

I am SO GLAD it was found! So far I've found all my wandering sketchbooks as well, but I know exactly what you mean...a piece of you is missing.

Marina G said...

That us so lucky and well done to Tate for helping you get it back! So many places just thro out their unclaimed stuff after 24 hours.

Marina G said...

That us so lucky and well done to Tate for helping you get it back! So many places just thro out their unclaimed stuff after 24 hours.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

I'm so pleased for you, I can feel your relief at being reunited. We pour so much of ourselves into sketchbooks, those little sketches, notes and hastily scribbled ideas can grow like tiny seeds into much bigger things. To lose one would feel like lost potential work.

Well done to the staff at the Tate!

(BTW, in almost every one of mine at the back are scrabble scores -)

Tina Mammoser said...

oh happy ending! The Tate Britain staff are always so nice when I'm there. I lose my membership card regularly. ;) Had a discussion with a gallery chap about the Turners and he let me know about requesting to see things in storage. And when my bike was stolen from out front they were very sympathetic and let me phone the police from the membership desk. Just think the Tate Britain is far more civilised than the Modern. :)

vivien said...

such relief - it would leave a huge hole, sketchbooks contain so much information, bringing back scenes and information vividly and are just irreplaceable.

B Lancton said...

Your blog entry had me feeling as if I had been searching for my own sketchbook. Luckily, I've not lost one (yet), but I felt that awful hole in my heart as if I did, and thank goodness for the wonderful Tate Britain staff. That hole-in-the-heart feeling is because that is where that piece of our heart lies - tucked within the pages of our sketchbooks.

Sadami said...

Hi, Kath,
Very relieved with the happy ending. Me, too, use A4 sketchbook and know your feeling very well. So, I scan new sketches at home everytime, every day I make.
Enjoy sketching!!
Cheers, Sadami

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I usually do the same - except this one had a few sketches I hadn't scanned as yet from a trip 10 days ago - plus all the new ones from last Thursday which I couldn't scan because I left it behind.

I must try photographing as I go - just in case!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

Katherine, just a suggestion that's worked for me--now I put my name and address (or a business card!) in the front, or rarely back, of every sketchbook before I ever start on it, with a note saying if you find this book, please contact me for a modest reward. I REALLY want my books back...

Anita Morris said...

I've been sketching for nearly a year now and I do tend to loose things. I haven't managed to loose a sketchbook yet thank goodness. I tend to get panicy just when I come to the end of one and I haven't bought a blank one yet.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

The weird thing is Cathy I always annotate the front end with name and contact details - and when I got it back today for some reason I'd not done it with this one,

Isn't that just the way it is? You lose the one you forgot to include the details!

The business card is an excellent idea though!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

The weird thing is Cathy I always annotate the front end with name and contact details - and when I got it back today for some reason I'd not done it with this one,

Isn't that just the way it is? You lose the one you forgot to include the details!

The business card is an excellent idea though!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

The business card is nice and fast, and I usually have some with me. I feel more secure anyway!

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