In the past, I've not been the best at using my sketch book to process my ideas. In truth, I've often 'flown' with an idea and then got lost, because I hadn't thought it through fully. Since straying into 'abstract' territory, I've found my sketchbook a great aid to working through ideas and techniques. A guide to keeping my feet on the ground, well mostly!
Many artists sketchbooks are so neat and ordered, they are works of art in themselves. At a recent exhibition, I saw the sketchbooks of, the late, Wilhelmina Barnes Graham; such neat handwriting and perfect drawings. The discolouration of the pages was due to age and damp, not the forgotten cup of cold tea that got knocked over on the work table!
My current sketchbook is fastened with a length of elastic that catches into a button, to allow for expansion. I can see this will be under severe strain long before the book is finished. The pages are filled with gathered bits of inspiring information, samples of texture I've created and rough sketches of design layouts and other ideas. I'm about to create a pocket to include the stages of a recent print, which will swell the pages further. I hope it holds together for a bit longer, as I've become quite attached to this sketchbook, with its motley collection of creativity.
This week I nearly slipped back into my old ways. While standing applying gesso to a blank canvas - one of 8 - I was thinking what I might paint on it. I very nearly set off on my next painting journey with only a rough idea of where I was headed, and with no map, or SATNAV, where would I end up? Realising I might be going to repeat this 8 times over, I gave myself a good talking to and got out my sketchbook, my painting route finder, and found the inspiration I needed. Disaster averted!
Along with my sketchbook, I have my 'doodle book.' This is part of a 1950's encyclopaedia set, full of out of date information and in poor condition. Another 'creativity generator.' The idea was to chose a subject from each page and doodle something. Unfortunately, I realised after the 3rd page, that the first subject, 'Sound,' ran to 24 pages of technical jargon and equations! Hmmm . . . . a bit more of a challenge than I intended it to be.
When creating some artwork has defeated me, I've taken random words from the page and arranged them into a form of prose and added collage or symbols. I feel my science education was lacking in something, as after reading the whole page, I still can't work out what on earth 'relaxational compressibility, or, 'instantaneous compressibility' is! If you have this wisdom, please share with me in the comments below?
I'm suffering from 'instantaneous compressibility.'
It comes in waves through the ether-
That substance without form, but known for its tranmissibility.
It's when synchronicity joins up all the loose ends, ideas and dreams.
It sends them hither and thither,
To make connections to the open-minded free-thinkers and day-dreamers.
Once the wave passes, I slump into a state of relaxational compressibility . . . .
Breathe in, breathe out, prepare to catch the next wave . . . .
Cherish your journey