EDM 119 - Draw some rocks
EDM 200 - Draw something lucky
I owe the topic of this post to Jana, who wrote about the same thing: a desire to fill all the empty pages in unfinished sketchbooks. In many ways I am an ultra-organized person, with model paper and computer files, a closet organized by season and color. But in my sketchbooks I am very very random. I grab whatever book is at hand, and in a size I don't mind carrying. Some are small, some tiny, some larger, some in a spiral format, many not. I started drawing for the Everyday Matters group in a set of four little books given to me by a friend when I retired. I'm sure he thought that I'd write diaries or The Great American Novel or something literary. But I only write personal things in cheap lined notebooks that I don't mind filling with drivel. These gift books are small, the opened spread is only six by nine inches, which at first appealed to me. Now I like to work slightly bigger. The paper is thin too; ink bleeds through. Watercolor makes the pages curl. Still, I started them, and I need to finish them. Plus I've been reading about all these other keepers of sketchbooks in Danny Gregory's new book An Illustrated Life, and person after personal talks about filling all the pages. I have a shelf of sketchbooks and none of them are completely filled. I feel shamed here, unworthy. OK, maybe a little lazy.
There is another issue. I was interested in the Everyday Matters group because of the emphasis on daily sketching. I draw most days, but not all. It seemed to me that I could do the weekly challenges as they came up, but some didn't appeal to me. I don't have a dog, for example, and (gasp) don't even like them much. I didn't want to draw a dog. I was horrified at the idea of drawing a shopping cart with all those angles and straight lines. I try not to eat carbs much, so ice cream, noodles and baked potatoes seemed like a tiny bit of personal torture. But, there is a part of me that wants to finish what I start, really wants to do them all. Other people have managed; I can too.
So, I'm taking a cue from old Nike ads and "just doing it". I discovered that adding gesso to the thin pages allows me to do more than just pencil work, or just pen. I've been craving color, so acrylic paint thinned with gel medium seems to work fairly well on the prepared pages. We'll see if I can at least finish one of these little format books before I break out the two new Moleskines I bought for myself last week.