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BY GJ Gillespie, artist and founder of Leda Art Supply

Paul Klee (1879-1940) was an avant-garde Swiss-German artist who pioneered new approaches to drawing and painting in the early 20th century. Klee channeled inspiration from music, poetry, and nature into his renowned dream-like works. But before completing his iconic paintings, Klee rigorously prepared with sketches and studies. His sketchbooks offer an invaluable record of his artistic growth and inventive philosophies that radically shaped modern art.

Born in Switzerland, Klee was musically gifted from childhood yet chose to pursue visual arts. After studying in Munich, he met many avant-garde figures who influenced his distinctive abstract style. Appointed a teacher at the Bauhaus school in 1920, Klee began distilling his ideas on modern art into written form, eventually publishing his Bauhaus teaching text Pedagogical Sketchbook in 1925.
Klee approached drawing as a meditative process of discovery.

He filled over 3,500 pages of sketchbooks with abstract faces, fantastical creatures, architectural studies, color experiments, and textured landscapes drawn from nature or imagination. These embodied his belief that art should visually represent the spiritual and unconscious realms. Klee advised artists to sketch freely, letting the hand roam without a specific goal. Many of his sketches served as studies for finished paintings like Twittering Machine and Ad Parnassum.

Klee's 1939 abstract masterpiece Castle and Sun sold at auction for a record $20.8 million. But his sketches also draw strong interest - a 1931 sketchbook recently sold for $325,000. The Museum of Modern Art house his significant sketchbook collections. His innovative compositions integrating color, form, line, and movement inspired generations of abstract artists.

As an artist, Klee encourages us to pick up pencil and paper to capture the world through fresh eyes. He shows sketching's power to crystallize observations, impressions, and inner visions.

At Leda Art Supply, our premium sketchbooks are ideal tools for exploring Klee’s inventive spirit. Available in 6 sizes with 160 pages of textured art paper suitable for varied dry media, our books will withstand your creative journey. Make art, not war, as Klee believed - fill the pages with your unique visual ideas and meditations. Let intuition guide your hand. Klee would be proud to see you discover your own approach within a Leda sketchbook"s possibilities.

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