Sketchbook Recycled

10 Jan

I’ve been struggling with what to put on this blog. It’s one thing to play around with stream of conscious kinds of writing or artmaking in private, but another to plaster it on a virtual wall for all to see. The art school snob in me has been hanging out, smoking in the corner, looking aloof and disdainful. Yes, I see you over there judging me, girlfriend!

I signed up for the online Strathmore Recycled Journal workshop. It’s a 4 week (1x per) video class (free). Week 1 is about mining your old sketchbooks for images to reuse and collaging them. So I made some B&W copies of things I drew last year (when I started off with a bang as I am now, trying to inject art back into my life).

Here are the results. This is step 1. Step 2 will be to use gesso washes and oil pastels to alter the collages.

3rd page, my favorite, I was warmed up by this time

2nd page - probably too many elements

1st page, put the calendar in for the new year

I need better lighting on my art desk.

As I cut out the images and looked through my box of collage scraps to incorporate I felt a little anxious. I used to have complete faith in my ability to create something interesting and meaningful. I just knew something would happen if I set up the right conditions (permaculture).

It’s been so long since the conditions were right, the channel has become rusty, the faith is shaken. But after playing around for an hour it started to feel familiar and flow. Remembering things like how to integrate disparate pieces and exploring the line of what is too many ideas in one picture.


I found this story on the blog Citrine (via my new friend Cory) about recovering old work:

‘Nineteenth-century English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote a series of sensual sonnets inspired by his relationship with his wife Elizabeth.  Before he could publish them, Elizabeth died.  He was so distraught he placed the only copy of his manuscript in the grave with her.  Years later, though, he decided the love poems were too good to consign forever to the oblivion of the dirt.  He had the coffin disinterred and recovered his work.
Draw inspiration from Rossetti’s change of heart.  Reclaim riches you once abandoned or left for dead.’
 — Rob Brezsny


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