Thumbnail Drawings from 1998 Sketchbook for “Lifeboat”


A page from the artist’s 1998 sketchbook with thumbnails of paintings he was conceiving, and working on, in various phases of completion, at the time. These thumbnails are found in nearly all of the artist’s sketchbooks and were started in the late 70s and are still practiced today.

This specific page shows thumbnails with a strong influence of water, and what would become an important portion of his “Water” series. Bartlett was inspired by the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine on an island he owns, Wheaton Island, and where he, and his family, visit every summer. Most of these thumbnails depicted became largescale paintings, while “Water Skier” and “Big Trinity” never came to fruition.

Added to the bottom of the page is an idea the artist was working on for an entire series of paintings regarding the five elements.