I am a serial sketch book collector. I love the things so much. And journals.
Paper, the right kinds of paper, hits me right where I feel.
But I really dislike drawing or writing in them. Seriously. The first time I took a journal and actually wrote words in it was in Spain. You know the one you saw in some of my photos?
It was sweet to take that journal out and just write in it. Whatever came to mind with no judgement.
I realize that I’ve become an artist who does not sketch beyond what’s needed for a painting. I don’t plan or toss ideas around on paper. I have a style and a process and somehow I’ve become accustomed to it.
There’s no play.
There’s limited experimentation.
I’ve grown to like my success rate in painting, which is pretty fucking high.
But I spent a lot (a LOT) of time with other people’s art in Spain. From the Picasso museum to viewing Surrealist art to the show my friend Martin was in and I saw where I was lacking.
Did you know Picasso made sculptures too? Silly and ridiculous ones?
My art history is 25 years behind me so if I knew, I definitely forgot.
Did you know surrealism extends to film and photography?
Yeah, me neither.
Did you know that painting can include removing paint?
I’ve started playing around. Seeing what I can do but I often find myself paralyzed by the need to make a successful something. To finish and want to sell or show the piece. And that swings me around back into loving my success rate a little too much.
So I’m pulling out one of my sketchbooks. A clean, delicious one with a paper that can handle wet media.
I’m grabbing markers and pencils and oh! maybe pastels and just playing.
I’m going to find things I like in magazines and glue them in.
I’m going to write words and cross them out.
I’m going to stop collecting empty books, and instead fill them with garbage and scribbles and whatever comes to mind.
I’m going to play and have fun. Add daily art practice back into my life. It’s about time and definitely not about being perfect. I’ll leave that to some other painting robot.
And if you collect journals and sketchbooks like me, join me in liberating them (and you!) from perfectionism. Let’s get dirty together.