Open Sketchbook: David Korty

David Korty is an LA-based artist and avid fly-fisherman. He is known mostly for his flat and vibrant paintings that depict the world around him in a slightly off-kilter way. He makes beautiful ceramics, too. Our friends at The Thing Quarterly are releasing David Korty’s issue this Saturday, May 31 at Night Gallery in Los Angeles—go have a look if you’re in town.

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David sent along some images from his current sketchbook and agreed to answer a few questions.

PLUMB: How do you use your sketchbooks?

DAVID KORTY: I usually just keep them around and draw in them when the mood strikes. Or if I have to fly somewhere I will draw a lot on the plane.

PLUMB: What are they for?

DAVID KORTY: Drawing.

PLUMB: What do you do with them when you’re finished?

DAVID KORTY: I put them on one of my shelves. But I should say it’s rare to actually finish one. Most are about half-filled.

PLUMB: Have you ever lost one?

DAVID KORTY: I left a really nice one in a New York taxi a few years ago. It had this great drawing of a woman from the flight over in it.

PLUMB: Did it matter?

DAVID KORTY: Yes.

PLUMB: Under what conditions do you make your best work?

DAVID KORTY: I can usually make a drawing I’m happy with. That’s the great thing about drawing in a sketchbook. It’s best to keep it simple and not get overly ambitious. I try and save that for later when I’m making a painting.

PLUMB: Whose notebook would you most like to look at?

DAVID KORTY: Saul Steinberg.

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I took these photos while visiting David at his outdoor studio in Highland Park in Los Angeles in 2010, and when he visited me in San Anselmo, California in 2013.

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