Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sketchbook, "Art Scarf", and Questions and Answers

I procrastinated far longer today, but I finished the tax work. What a relief! So on to more pleasant subjects.

Well, the first is not exactly "pleasant"; I feel ambivalent about this. My Sketchbook Project sketchbook left Nelson yesterday, January 10; I stuck a note asking them to mark the postmark date clearly; I hope they obliged. I did a lot of collage pages, because I was reluctant to draw, partially because I'm not confident, but also because the paper was thinner than I expected; I didn't want to use wet medium.  Even the markers bled through.  And I couldn't believe how hard it was to draw outside the drawing class, so I brought the book to class a couple of times and worked quick drawings into the book. 

I like collaging for my own pleasure, or to share with friends, but certainly not for the public to see. Among other things, the stores discontinued my fav glue stick so I used another which left blobs and gobs all over. I also tried my PVC, but that was worse.  I had to separate the pages and let the book dry for a few days! I now know I can do some layered collages; I even tried some doodling on top of the collage, but I still prefer the simpler pages. 

When I was working on the project, I had in mind as a reader/viewer a child or a young person who knew little about weaving. I tried to show a little bit of how one weaver's mind works but result was a mishmash of half-baked ideas, I felt. I managed to stick in three drafts, and three woven samples, but the sketchbook felt... unresolved.  If I were ever to do this again, and I honestly don't know if I will in a hurry, I may take no prisoner and launch straight into hard-core weaving stuff. I tend to underestimate the intelligence of young people, and if I provide enough visuals, weaving makes sense to people even if they don't know the parlance, I think. I also tried to introduce New Zealand, but halfway through I saw too much of it and pasted over some pages.

I think my book has the look and feel of a moderately successful middle-school student project.  Enough said.

* * * * *

I don't want to get too hung up on the words, but I think I'll try to envision what I'm calling "art scarf" when I plan each piece from now. I'm not declaring it's art, it's not a challenge, but I like the name and it tells me what I have in mind.  Just a thought.

* * * * *

I've been working on Julia Cameron's "Walking in this World", the second of The Artist's Way trilogy, since the start of the year.  When I work on The Artist's Way books, I'm conscientious and serious, but this time I'm skipping the Morning Pages, an introspective journal she'd like us to work on first thing in the morning every morning.  It is an interesting exercise, and I got a lot out of it when I worked on "The Artist's Way" in 2002; I pretty much lived in the The Artist's Way world for three months.  But in 2008, when I started to work on "Walking in this World" the first time around, I couldn't get my head out of the peculiar Julia Cameron world and I had to either strop weaving for the duration, or stop working on the book, and I chose the latter.

From time to time I need some gentle coaching and hand-holding, and I've been thinking about redoing this second book.  On New Year's Eve, the idea came to me that I didn't have to do absolutely everything, and I decided to skip Morning Pages.  It's a big part of The Artist's Way experience, and I felt like a renegade, but I'd rather keep weaving, and for me blogging and pretty much everyday living provides enough introspection so I'll be alright.  I can always sit down any time of the day and write the kind of journal entry if I wanted to, if I think it helps.

The Artist's Way books try to nurture the artist/child in everyone, and part of the process leads to reflections on our childhood and whether we were encouraged/discouraged to engage in art, and if so by whom.  Inevitably some of this leads to blame. I had a volatile relationship with my parents when I was a child and I wasn't even aware of it then, so it's been painful learning about it through this process but more through counseling for depression.  But you see, I'm 52, and even if I did have a strict,. volatile, and anxious upbringing, that was the past and I don't want to waste my life and energy rehashing it any more.  This is another reason I'm skipping the Morning Pages. 

That being said, she makes us do a variety of interesting and fun tasks, and I still think back to a few of the things I did in 2002.  This week, I astonished myself when I couldn't finish these sentences. I usually have multiple answers for this sort of quizzes, so there is definitely changes happening in my head, and I'm curious to know where it's (I'm?) going.  And if it's that dreaded lack of imagination, I do hope it's temporary. 

* If it weren't so foollish, I'd love to try _____
* If I were 21 again, I would let myself study _____
* If it weren't so nuts, I'd love to try _____
* If I gave into my secret dream, I would let myself _____

Gasp.

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