22 January 2013

Journals, sketchbooks ...

The Black Book, constant companion, ready for ... whatever 
Seeing and reading about other people's marvellous sketchbooks and daily journalling (for instance here) makes me feel envious - and guilty (or something...) for not doing so myself.

First of all, is that strange emotion really guilt? Is there a "must" or even "you SHOULD do this" about it?

--long pause for thought--

No, there's no SHOULD. "Could", yes; and you or I "want" to, because it obviously works well as a method of generating ideas and recording thoughts, inspirations, whatever... And it's a lovely thing, to have all that in a book, to refer back to.

So, is it all about envy? Perhaps. That they CAN. That I fear this "easy beauty" is beyond me.

Or is it laziness, or disorganisation? To do this often; to make time; to give up something else so that there is time ...

--another long pause --

Basically, it's not my priority. Instead of a Daily Practice, I function via a combination of Going With The Flow, and Working To A Deadline. That keeps things ticking over nicely.
The pen marks the spot
And I always carry my black notebook/sketchbook, and camera. The notebook is for drawing in, writing in (preferably when indulging alone in a coffee shop), and sometimes as a means of using "wasted" time (on the train). The camera is for capturing the moment, and I use it as another kind of notebook.
Cogitations in a coffee shop, and some doodling, er, pattern-making
There's something else I do so habitually that I've ceased to notice, and that thing is - spending hours on the computer, writing for this blog. It's a way of organising what's going on, what's already happened, what might or might not happen next  - a journal, in effect. The blog functions as a (selective) diary, an aide-memoire for myself, a link to the outside world, and as a research tool. It's a place where I can document what I experience as an artist ... and as a curious person.

Just as anyone might want to make a "pretty" sketchbook rather than a big mess, I take care on the blog to fix up photos when possible, write grammatically, credit the "borrowed" photos via links that might drive traffic to other sites of interest -- and, mostly, to be brief. And have lots of pictures. And to avoid "i-words" - including the first person pronoun (mostly). You can't please all of the people all of the time, but with a little luck, it's interesting to some of the people some of the time.

The upshot of this bit of mulling is a resolution to give up the "guilt" about not having a beautiful sketchbook, and, for the moment at least (everything changes, yes??)  considering the blog to be one of my art activities - one way of "being in the world". (That will allay the "guilt" of spending too much time on the computer, rather than in the studio!)

It's definitely life-enhancing to see and read what the bloggers who I regularly visit are sharing ... especially their sketchbooks. I'm delighted to be able to be part of that - the blogosphere, this international community, is (imho) one of the best things to come out of the digital revolution.
More pattern-making, some using the non-dominant hand
And speaking of digital revolution... if only I could get feeling comfortable with my [brandname omitted] tablet device... A topic for another time (or maybe not!).

1 comment:

magsramsay said...

What a thoughtful post that echoes what I feel myself about sketchbooks, daily practice and the importance of blogging. What's most valuable and enjoyable is the process. For me, drawing and doodling in sketchbooks/on fabric is more unconscious and internal while blogging is reflective, structured and external and most importantly interactive!I love too having the equivalent of an index for my blog, typing in a word and seeing what it brings up!