My name is Chris Buchholz, and I currently live in the Dominican Republic with my beautiful wife Heydi. Several years ago I was working as an Illustrator and graphic designer for a design company in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, where I had also received my design education in a small community college.
I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was a child and I’ve always loved it. But while working for that design company something happened to me that would forever change my life and the way I thought about art. I went to a design conference in Atlanta where I attended a presentation by one Danny Gregory. His presentation opened up my mind to, what was for me, a new and interesting art form; the sketchbook. As he showed page after page of beautiful drawings, drawings of normal everyday objects, of food, of pants, of public urinals, quick drawings of landmarks and buildings on journey’s taken, I began to wonder what I had been doing for the last 20 years of my life. I had seen some of the world, I’d been all over the United States, seen the Canadian Rockies, I went backpacking through Italy, bought my first house, met new friends and spent time with family; I had experienced life in all its triumphs and trials, but where were the drawings? I hadn’t drawn anything! I suppose I was doing “art”, which more often than not meant I was waiting for a big idea or concept to come along, which rarely did. But I had missed out on the good stuff. I too wanted to draw my food, and my pants, and possibly draw a public urinal.
I decided to jump in to my first sketchbook. I decided it would be based on my first house, which I had just recently put up for sale. It was actually slated to be sold in about a month’s time. I decided to use this last month to document everything about the house that I loved, each room, each wall color, each magnet on the fridge, the contents of the drawers, furniture, lighting fixtures, and yes, even the toilet. Although it meant putting off the packing and moving to the last weekend before settlement, I can now say that that month spent drawing and painting was one of the most satisfying and enjoyable times that I have ever had.
Anyhow, It’s been about 5 or 6 years since I’ve filled that first sketchbook, and ever since I’ve been drawing in sketchbooks. Drawing has helped me to re-analyze my life at times. I decided at one point to cut back the time I spent working as a graphic designer to just three days a week so I could spend more time on the more important things in life. Three years ago I decided to quit my job completely, move to the Dominican Republic and volunteer my time as a missionary.
Drawing is wonderful here in the DR, there’s never a lack of interesting things to draw. I like working mostly in moleskines, mainly the pocket sized ones. I use faber castell pitt pens, and recently I’ve been using a lamy safari fine-point, which I love so far. I use prismacolor colored pencils, and winsor and newton watercolors. I hope you enjoy my drawings!
Photo by Heydi German de Buchholz