Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Sketchbook Processes"


Sketchbooks are hidden, raw and reduced personal places for me to work out content inside my head and operates as a hand-holding companion.  I am currently working in 4 to 5 sketchbooks and 2 writing journals.  The visual diaries are entries and part of a daily practice.  It becomes a part of my everyday routine and structure when studio painting sessions are unavailable to me.  Even when there is a viable space in which to paint and spread out, I rely strongly on sketchbooks and writing journals.  

This type of experiential feedback process is similar to looking at mini clustering processes that some writer's use.  Drawing, writing, composing music evokes a particular aspect of one's life content, and unfolds within it's own contexts.  Distinctive systems, rhythms, style, movement and inner dialogue takes place between you and the work.  


Not all entries are important.  Sometimes a single drawing, or a group of them created on random non-consecutive days signify, affirm, and reaffirm something I am compelled to explore.   I become excited when I review and flick through pages after weeks of playing in the books.  This practice also has an element of showing me what I'm ready to discard,  move beyond an idea, or begs a reason to return to the beginning.

A sketchbook is like a 'pressure release system'.  When struggling with direction and ideas, returning to these diaries help me reconnect and become inspired by my own ideas.  


These particular sketches represent a majority of the January entries which have been showing up consistently throughout the visual diaries.   The cylinder and circular forms.  The impulse to play between circles and grid based content come and go.  

Below are older paintings asking me to return for a closer look evoked by the current sketches.  The separating of elements, even though gestures are small in the sketchbooks, motivates me to explore what is going on.  Looking at these two previous paintings generates an inner dialogue and extends the range and possibilities of the next move -- giving me a subtle satisfactory nod toward consistent content.   


Sometimes anxiety and self-doubt plagues the artist most often than not.  If you procrastinate and only think about making work, you'll feel more exhausted than if you'd created for hours.  

I work at flowing around every obstacle I encounter as an artist.  This self-explorative process is a large part of my interest in making art and maintaining a healthy mental state of mind.  So, for every mood swing or a shift in execution, keep updating your plan with a process that works for you.  

The artist dreams of works of breadth; but limited
by her personality and the nature of her medium,
limited by inner disturbances and loss of purpose,
she often works more narrowly than she's intended...
 __ Eric Maisel

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