As a young art student I was personally not very good at making effective use of a sketchbook, but later in my teaching career, when keeping a sketchbook or journal became a requirement for my students at GCSE at GCE A Level Art & Design, I felt that I should somehow set a better example and make more of an effort. This was particularly appropriate when visiting museums and art galleries when direct first-hand study of artworks sharpens perceptions and enriches the experience. During my own Foundation course at Walthamstow School of Art working from direct observation in museums and art galleries was very much encouraged, but I had somehow forgotten the benefits of recording in this way. The emphasis on critical study in GCSE and A Level also made me re-examine my own negative attitude to the History of Art, as it had been taught through my own training. The critical study journals here are the result of these various influences, and are now an invaluable reminder of all the exhibitions and artworks that I have seen over the years.

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