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Rie Munoz Sketchbooks

Rie Muñoz’s sketchbooks were among her most cherished possession. From 1963 until 2013 the field sketches were the basis for her life’s work in watercolor paintings. In all, the 149 sketchbooks chronicle 50 years of travel throughout Alaska.

With the eye of a cartoonist, Rie captured emotion in a few spare lines. In the margins of the sketch, she noted details such as color, which she usually ignored, as well as shopping lists, phone numbers and notes to self.

Muñoz carried a sketchbook at all times, drawing whatever caught her eye, fishermen repairing nets, children playing, village life, and cannery workers - the latter, at times, thinking she might be a safety inspector jotting notes of possible infractions. When shown the sketches they would soon relax and all would share a good laugh.

The field sketches were used as references for composite sketches, more detailed renditions of the scene that she would paint. After several, or many, composition sketches, Munoz would take the best one and project the image onto 300 lb. arches watercolor paper using an overhead projector. Rie would then spend the next 4 to 5 days finalizing the work in vibrant watercolor expression.

On the last pdf there is a partial index collated by subject or location, year, and sketchbook. These fun sketches and notes show some of the process of Rie’s creativity and give a glimpse into her world.


The Rie Muñoz’s sketchbooks were donated to the Juneau Douglas City Museum in 2022.
Browse the Sketchbooks

Rie Munoz
Rie Munoz
Photos by Sydney Akagi
2101 N. Jordan Ave.
Juneau, Ak 99801
Rie Muñoz has published
over 500 different
images in her career
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Wednesday, July 17, 2024