As well as using sketchbooks to document what I see and research new subjects and ideas, I also use them to play with images I already have and see if I can turn them into something I can use in my work. I use them to develop composition, plan layers for prints, come up with ideas for series of works and just generally to have fun. These sketchbooks are often very playful, and generally after I’ve filled a few pages, it’s very difficult to close them! They are filled with found images, fragments of paintings, scribblings and general stuff. They very much follow the dictum ‘more is more and less is a bore’!
I love my sketchbooks more than anything I have (apart from possibly my family and pets…) and they would be the thing I would rescue in a fire.