MAJ SPRING THEME Moore Sketchbook Sotheby s copy
Henry Moore, sketchbook page: eight reclining figures, felt-tip pen, crayon and pen and ink on paper, 11½ x 9⅜ in. (29.2 x 23.8 cm), 1966, Sotheby’s New York, Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale Online, 18 May 2020.

Invitation and Theme – Summer 2024 – The Sketchbook Issue

For the Summer 2024 issue of the Maine Arts Journal, we would like to invite you to share pages from past and present sketchbooks. We look forward to discovering the many ways in which you occupy the blank pages of your sketchbooks: with images and words, scribbles and doodles, quotes and references. Find examples that reveal the many purposes for which you use a sketchbook: whether it is to observe, reflect, or remember, to solve problems, record what inspires you, communicate with yourself, plan for future works, take stock of what you have accomplished, or to collect intimate wishes and regrets, rants and dreams.

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Samuel Palmer, page from a sketchbook, graphite drawing, sheet: 7 3/16 x 4 7/16 in. (18.4 x 11.2 cm), c. 1848, Metropolitan Museum of Art (file made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication; Wikimedia Commons).

As an uncensored private site, the sketchbook is essential to the creative process. It also gives a remarkably vivid entry into an artist’s world, process, and practice. We look forward to discovering a wide range of examples of the ways in which sketchbooks contribute to your work.

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Agostino Carracci, studies for various female and male figures, pen and brown ink, some sketches over red chalk, some faint scribbles in charcoal sheet: 11 3/16 x 15 13/16 in. (28.4 x 40.1 cm) between 1600 and 1602, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (file made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication; Wikimedia Commons).

Deadline: 1 June 2024.

Guidelines for UMVA Members’ Showcase:

We invite MAJ member artists to participate in the Showcase (to become a member: click here).

    • For the Sketchbook Issue, submit up to four images of double or single pages from your sketchbook. Accompanying text is not required, but if text accompanies the images, there is a 300 word limit. Text should be in Word doc. format, not PDF. Please submit images as JPEG or png images (NO TIFF files), approximately 2500 pixels on width, resolution 72dpi.
    • Label each image file as follows: your last name_Number of Image_Title (with no spaces in the title). Please DO NOT put whole caption/credit in image file label, see image list/caption format below (if you are submitting for a group put your own last name in first).
    • Include an image list at the end of submitted text, if not submitting text with sketchbook images, as a separate word doc.
    • Label your document file names: Last Name_Title.
    • Image list/caption format: create a list that is numbered to match the number in your image file label that includes the following in this order: Artist’s Name, Title of Work, medium, size (example: 9 x 12 in.), date (optional), photo credit (example: photo: Ansel Adams) if not included we assume it is courtesy of the artist. Example: Unknown Artist, Untitled, oil on canvas, 9 x 12 in., 2000 (photo: Ansel Adams).
    • Please wait until all of your material is compiled to submit.

Put “Sketchbookin the subject line and submit by email to by the 1 June 2024 deadline. MAJ will limit the “Members’ Showcase” section to UMVA members who have not been published in the past year.

Do not send preformatted visual essays. Our editors will lay out text and images submitted using the guidelines above.

It is the MAJ’s policy to request and then publish image credits. We will not publish images the submitter does not have the right to publish. However, it is to be assumed that any uncredited or unlabeled images are the author’s/submitter’s own images. By submitting to the MAJ, you are acknowledging respect for these policies.

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John Singer Sargent, Bernina Pass, 23 June 1869, from Switzerland 1869 Sketchbook, closed: 7 13/16 x 11 13/16 x 5/8 in. (19.8 x 30 x 1.6 cm), sheets: 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (19.7 x 29.8 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (file made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication; Wikimedia Commons).


Thank you,MAJ Editorial Board: Natasha Mayers, Nora Tryon, Véronique Plesch, and Betsy Sholl (poetry editor)