Day 86: Time Machines and Russian Brides

I watched 2 movies tonight. It’s 2am so it’s Saturday. Because I am inside all day and Friday I didn’t look out the window much less leave the house and spent most of the day in my tiny closet office, there is not much sense of time beyond the 50 minute hour, so I get insomnia and a perverse interest in staying up late.

I watched “See You Yesterday” about 2 smart black kids who make a time machine. They go to Bronx Science. It’s just able to go a day behind, but the girl gets caught up trying to save her brother who gets shot by a white cop. All the reviews on IMDB are harsh, but I saw it with my kid and thought it was cool. I love time machine movies, and if you don’t think Bill and Ted movies are so awesome, why would you say this is such a bad movie? They have a more pressing reason to go back and it’s not a comedy. It’s almost a Groundhog Day type movie that’s a tragedy.

I went through a Groundhog Day movie search with my kid a few years ago. We found all the ones like it and watched them. They were pretty bad especially two Christmas movies but the concept is so fun and Twilight Zone they can be really bad but good. The best was about a girl in high school who starts out an oblivious jerk popular girl, and in the end she’s hell bent on saving an “invisible” classmate nobody notices from killing herself. That one wasn’t Christmas but you had to go to a typical high school party several times.

Maybe my taste in movies has gotten a lot less snobby and “discerning” since having a kid. I still hate movies she likes so I haven’t lost my particular flavors. I tried to show her the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a movie I can rewatch, a favorite, but she didn’t get into it. Being John Malkovich and Stranger than Fiction are also my types.

We both loved See You Yesterday and the ending is great too. Then she went to bed and I saw Birthday Girl, a Russian Bride Order heist gone bad movie with Clive Owens and Nicole Kidman from 2002. I thought that was fun too. I’m sure it got bad reviews too but it was cute.

I always enjoy movies that remind me of Bartley the Scrivener types, guys who have predictable lives and wake up one day and things go nuts and they get transformed and usually there’s a nutty woman involved. Like “Stranger than Fiction”.

A time machine that can only go a day back is interesting, and the concept of avoiding seeing yourself from the past is always played with in these movies. I guess the idea is pretty obvious. If you made a time machine to save George Floyd from dying, some other guy would die the same way. You can’t fix what’s broken unless you go so far back you’d have to mess with so much. Would it be Christopher Columbus or slave ships?

Was the guy an idiot to order a Russian bride? Like the guy in Stranger than Fiction who’s a tax auditor this one works in a bank.

Maybe quarantine has lowered my taste in films but they’re supposed to be fun and make you think. I’d like to mix it up and see some queer films as the heteronormative stuff gets stale just like the all white people movies do too. Yesterday we watched Flipped. It takes place in the 50s which I don’t love but it’s a cute love story.

I’m watching I Know This Much is True. I read the book a long time ago. Twins and schizophrenia of course make for interesting stuff and Mark Ruffolo is great playing both.

I’m trying to mix it up with important movies and more diverse casts as well as dumb stuff that’s fun. More documentaries and queer films on the horizon. Crip Camp, LA92. We just finished Kareem: Minority of One which was great.

Day 85: Friday, June 5

It’s been quite a week. I just got off Zoom with my last client of today. I had 6 people.

I am truly grateful for this job. It helps me stay halfway sane. I was going to write my answers for this project called The Unlonely Project, about art and quarantine, but most of the answers I’ve written about in here anyway. More on it another time.

I have family members who live in Minneapolis. They texted me two photos that I’m waiting for to post here as I of course asked permission and they’re going, well it seems I can go look at 5 photos and get them up here! My brother took them with a camera except the panorama with iPhone.

Day 82: Philip Guston

“In my experience a painting is not made with colours and paint at all. I don’t know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint? It might be things, thoughts, a memory, sensations, which have nothing to do directly with painting itself. They can come from anything and anywhere, a trifle, some detail observed, wondered about and, naturally from the previous painting. The painting is not on a surface, but on a plane which is imagined. It moves in a mind. It is not there physically at all. It is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.” Philip Guston

This was Philip Guston’s opposite point of view to the cliche that a painting is the paint on canvas and what you see on it. I think both are true.

I used to be obsessed with Robert Ryman, a painter who was constantly fielding questions about meaning and spirituality in his very white light paintings on regular and weird surfaces. He said there was nothing in them, that they were just what they were, paint on canvas, sometimes on aluminum screwed into the wall a certain way. He was playing with surfaces and how you put the painitng on the wall. I went to his retrospective at the MoMA – Sep 26, 1993–Jan 4, 1994. Wow! I thought it was later than that. I was just starting out as a painter and had become very enchanted by his marks and materials and ways to put a painting on a wall, also many are not huge. I sat and looked at a really huge one I had never seen. It had hardly any color but white and grey tones. I don’t usually sit a long time with a painting; it felt like a moment on LSD, my mind entered some weird door of perception and I had some kind of bizarre experience in the Twilight Zone. I’ve never had it since though I”ve had weird reactions to paintings.

I was also inspired by Ryman’s story connected to my own accidental collision with art making. Ryman started out trying to make it as a jazz musician and worked at MoMA as a security guard. Talk about dramatic irony. He saw the paintings and bought som art supplies and started painting on a whim and didin’t stop.

Does the painter really know what they are painting when they think they know? I would say no. I have made so many images that just came out or just resulted from a random drawing and continuing the theme. I’ve even arrived at what they are “about” when I’ve had to write the dreaded artist’s statement, which I always hated. I started painting to get away from making sense and using words to explain anything.

Anyway, one joy of making things is seeing what I made by hearing someone else tell me what they see. Even a few years ago, with this very large Flower Painting in my house, mostly there as it’s too heavy to carry to the studio between moves. I was talking about some work I was making and saying it’s 9/11 again, how weird. He said, “Of course. All of them are. That painting up there is about 9/11.” It was the huge flower one. Not such a stretch as I had been fascinated with the life of the flower, especially as it is sort of half dead by the time it’s in your vase and then you can see it slowly die. It’s even an image in the opening of Six Feet Under towards the end of the opening credits, a fast forward of white flowers dying in a vase.

Anyway, other people see things in my work and what they see is really there. Even if I start with a real actual concept like this Burial Mound idea, I’m not sure what people might say if they were up in my studio or a show somewhere or even when I post them. Maybe they don’t see Burial Mounds or see beyond them some other meaning buried in them.

The other day I was putting house shapes in the Burial Mounds, another way to tie in my experience with the front line workers who handle Covid corpses, not to connect to them by experience; in fact it emphasizes how I’m home and safe while they risk their lives every day and are at the nuclear core of the pandemic.

Then the next thing, I put some of my buildings from many of my past and recent series in the burial mound in a drawing and thought, here comes 9/11. Even the house shape in the other ones, it’s my 9/11 apartment an airplane engine’s distance from the towers. There actually was an engine on the corner of Murray and Church streets a few feet East of my place on the same northern side of Murray St.

I was thinking about Philip Guston who used to be a huge painter for me, whom I revered, especially his courage in the heart of abstract expressionism to say, “I’m not making those pretty paintings to make statements about America or the meaning of art or whatever. I’m going to be honest and make paintings of shoes, nails, paint, faces, buildings, piles of legs, sleeping and smoking, cigarettes, drawings of Richard Nixon, including his phlebitis.” (My words)

What other artist of that time made as part of their work so many caricatures of Richard Nixon? The great thing is that they aren’t in caricature style; they are Guston’s drawings, with his kind of line and roughness.

The reason I started this whole post was that I was thinking of Guston’s disturbing paintings of people in KKK hoods. Apparently at one of his shows, someone from the KKK actually destroyed one of the paintings. However, his answers don’t totally tell the story. He said he wanted to experience how it feels to be purely evil and look in the mirror. He was Jewish and was referring to their anti-semitism as a person growing up with post war looming on him, but I couldn’t find a discussion on racism and they didn’t seem to think of asking a black person what they thought of his paintings. You can find a lot of articles about why he did the paintings but they are strangely void of real discussion of racism and lynching.

Now that we are quite aware of the constant lynchings of black people carried out by the police and others, there is no way to not be part of the picture.

What Guston didn’t say and maybe didn’t see because maybe it’s true that you paint the painting from a personal question or need, but it has its own life and refuses to be just what you and even others of the time say it is. He was admitting that even as a Jewish person, part of the Klan’s vicitims for sure, he was still white and could still be invisibly Jewish.

In 2019, those paintings bring home the fact that if you’re white, you’re priveleged and protected and always part of the problem in some way, some in smaller ways than others; you can still do something about it, contributing to Black Lives Matter, working in your community, electing the people who can effect change, especially people of color who are running for office all the time. Participating in the protest is one way, especilaly if you avoid the violence because once you get violent you mess up the movement, as the violence will always be blamed on black people. Listening to people’s stories and their art too.

If you google and look at those paintings now, they are very powerful and very true in a way that images can convey much louder and more directly than words. It was still an act of courage to paint them and say I dare you to see yourself I. This painting and to hang it on your wall…

Day 2: Saturday, March 14, 13 Minutes

Happy Pi day! I have a great Pi t-shirt I got at a science museum in Myrtle Beach on summer vacation. It’s 3/14!

Daily photo, another great t-shirt:

I am sometimes sad that in high school I was so good at math and did BC Calculus and took the exam. Now I barely know what Calculus is. I have a terrible memory for exact experiences that are recent and my memory of the far-gone past is terrible. I can’t remember how to play the piano or read notes. In high school I was playing Chopin Nocturnes.

Anyway, the silver lining in my terrible ADHD memory where everything is like trying to hold sand, is that I remember odd irrelevant things, and they can be fun to write about.

Today I had a WhatsApp video call with one of my best friends who live in Milan with her 13 year old. They are very inspiring, as they obviously are in the later stages of the Coronavirus, but still have hope and a sense of humor, despite there now being strict rules about leaving your house: only to walk dogs, go food shopping or to the pharmacy, so not even a curfew, a total stay home order.

I have a nail polish bottle in my studio where I keep my nail polish collection. You can use nail polish for art, like decorating your pillbox or the front and back of a journal.

This nail polish bottle is special. I actually bought it with my Italian friend soon after 9/11 or maybe before, in downtown Brooklyn where we worked. We both lived right near Ground Zero. Anyway we went to a department store near work. I can’t remember if it was a Macy’s or another one. We both bought the same color of Lancome nail polish, a kind of iridescent peach color.

Not only do I still have that nail polish, it still works, meaning it hasn’t thickened and gotten clumpy like many other nail polishes do in even 2 years. You open this bottle and it’s like your bought it yesterday. I wish I had a photo of it.

Some stores that have closed long ago, like Pearl Paint, I remember the exact layout and where they put the Sakura gelly pens and the frames. I remember the fancy pen case and the floor with sculpture tools, all the floors. I remember waiting on line on the paints floor in the palette aisle and seeing Bob Ross brand of things and the paint knives on the left side. Pearl Paint had a few specialty stores on Lispenard Street across from the main building, which was red and white brick. There was a store for home depot kind of stuff, wallpaper and paint and home decorating stuff. There was a store just for art furniture towards Church Street. There was an awesome craft supply store, with 2 stories and you went up the stairs for stuff and could see the bottom floor.

The main building had an old creaky elevator with a cramped waiting space and a bulletin board of flyers and announcements for art lessons and other things. The stairs in the main store were worn dark wood that wasn’t flat anymore. I remember where the turpentine was and the orange scented one that I discovered and bought, on one of the lowest shelves to the left of the entrance to the paint floor. You had to purchase whatever you got on that floor. There was a little room for specialty paper with someone behind a counter who would get certain papers that weren’t out on the racks. They wrapped your big paper carefully in brown paper. One of my clients even reminisced about going there after therapy with me and picking up art supplies. I even remember the customer service nook. All the cashiers and stock people were artists. It was the most magnificent art supply store I ever went to. It was an experience. I remember seeing people with their typed out lists of supplies from their painting classes searching for maybe their first tube of oil paint in September.

Thinking of Pearl Paint always makes me happy because it was so connected to me of my first ten years or so of being an artist. Going in there was magical.

 

Day 1 Yesterday’s 13 Minutes

Friday, March 13: I decided to use my 13 minute daily writings to be a kind of diary of living with new restrictions and a state of emergency during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Remember, life is all around you and there is still nature to appreciate even in NYC: trees, birds, the sky…

I live in NYC a few blocks below World Trade Center. I’ve lived in this apartment since 1998, except for a few years post 9/11.

Anyway, my plan is to focus on positive things in here. Anyone reading this knows you can easily access what’s going on and the news, and I believe focusing on good things that are facts happening alongside bad stuff is a way to keep one’s humanity intact. I saw a Hawking video I posted on Facebook 2 years ago today when he died. It is especially a great message for right now. I think I can find the link from Facebook.

Stephen Hawking Video

Technically it’s Saturday, but I’m writing my 13 minutes for yesterday, Friday the 13th. I will also post art I make daily; I hope to inspire people to use art making as a coping tool and if you’re doing it even 15 minutes, it is your life, not just a distraction tool. I strongly believe in DBT’s Distress Tolerance skills, but I also think that even if you’re doing something to calm yourself and avoid something for a while and then get back to it, that while you’re doing your art or music or crossword puzzle, you aren’t avoiding your life; that’s is you living it.

I was inspired yesterday to get back to my Daily Comic, “The Daily Grind”, which I’ve been only doing sporadically. I want to commit to some daily “self-care” minutes of my life spent doing things I already do but will be more mindful to keep up now.

Daily photo: I just got this t shirt and wore it to work yesterday. Some of my clients quite enjoyed it, even by video session!

 

Home Yoga Practice

Lessons: One is, if I’m having a strong reaction to something, there is something in it worth learning or reframing to use and get inspired by.

I have been reading a book entitled, “Yoga at Home: Inspirations for Creating Your Own Home Practice”. I saw it on a site about yoga and got it from the library. It’s a great book, and can be useful whether you read it from beginning to end or do what I’m doing, dipping into it and reading whatever I feel like. There are lots of photos, which is great, as it’s the kind of topic you get inspired by by seeing images of home practice, not just reading. There are a lot of points of view from different yoga teachers/experts.

I haven’t gone through the whole book. So far I’ve noticed a lot of great ideas and tips. The book gives you a wide range of points of view, ideas, yoga philosophies, and people’s homes in their home practice.

It struck me that the concept of home is everywhere in the book with the concept of practicing yoga outside of a class or teacher guidance and defining/redefining what yoga means for you and what yoga “space” is.

Some food for thought that came up as a theme was, your home practice is very personal to you, and doing a home practice involves figuring out, discovering what you want from yoga at home. The “where” part is fascinating to me and ranged from people saying, wherever you put your mat and intentions can vary;  the imortance and meaning can come from what you feel and do on the mat to people who have very specific sanctuary type spaces where they do their practice in their home. Even the people travelling in an RV made the inside of the RV look like a sacred meditative yoga type space. People also lucky enough to have outdoor space showed how they practice outdoors.

Another variable is, are you alone and focused simply on your yoga, or are you incorporating it into daily life involving partners, pets, children, music, etc.? Even the concept of the yoga mat and what surface you do yoga on is expanded to include the kitchen floor and rugs and grass/outdoor nature as well as more typical yoga mats one expects to see.

The book focuses on creative practice and going with your intuition in the moment, and doing things one woulnd’t expect, like listening to specific music or even playing music yourself, writing in a journal, coming to the mat and doing something, embracing the unknown, and of course, time of day and frequency of practice.

A while back, someone who knows me well said the obvious, “You want a Zen Garden, and your living space and life are not nor likely to be this perfect Zen Garden you’re imagining.” In this book, a majority of the people have created their own “zen garden” in which to practice yoga. They may think they are making “home yoga space” accessible to the average person, but the pictures in the book of course look slightly unattainable, just as the images of these yogis doing yoga are images of a range of people in different sizes and shapes, but they all look somewhat “perfect”, ie. out of reach, whether the pose they are in looks out of reach, or how they look and what they’re wearing and their physical shape seems out of reach. Towards the end of the book you get more range of physical bodies for sure, but it would be nice if they were varied throughout the book. Why does Magdaline Adhiambo get a two page spread at the end and no name in the table of contents at the beginning of the book? She should have been in the beginning or middle and be given several pages, considering how inspiring she is to many people and how she represents atypical yoga body size and shape. And the founder of “Curvy Yoga” is also near the end of the book. They do include a range/varitey of ethnicities, ages, gender only male or female so far in my flipping through the book. They should have included some of the well known yoga teachers out there who are challenged with not having legs or arms etc. There is something wrong with a book that puts the “curvy” yoga teachers at the end instead of right in the middle. That definitely is a big problem with the book, as well as excluding trans and gender variance as well as focusing on body shape/size and body limitations. If you want this book to inspire the average person who likes yoga, you need to welcome them at the beginning to see people they can identify with. Whom is this book for?

The other problem for me was they emphasize creating a “sacred” space and the diversity of that and spaces in which to do yoga, but they don’t go far enough. Yes, your dog or kid might be there, but what about having a person whose house is messy show how they carry on a yoga practice in a sloppy setting? What about considering the many people who not only don’t have a good space at home, but who have a messy home?

Since they did not include that, I am going to write a post about that concept of yoga, the idea of Equanimity, being still and grounded in the midst of chaos and mess and changing settings, in the midst of outside distractions like other people watching TV, talking, etc.

To me an important part of yoga and my approach to therapy is the idea of accepting what’s going on and being more ok in the middle of imperfect aspects of life. This involves not resolving something with another person, leaving off in the middle trusting you can return to it later, not finishing things and being ok with it, trusting in the next moment and letting go of control, that a lot of creativity involves disorder and chaos and unexpectedness, spontaneity. In this book spontaneity is important, but it is limited to what you do every time you go to practice at home, how you do it and how you sequence your private yoga or not, when and how long you do it, whether meditation is a big part or not. Those are important ideas as well.

So I will write a post of my own ideas about my personal home yoga practice which I started on August 5, 2014.

Projects

I tried wirting a post about my unfinished projects yesterday for 15 minutes but it got too complicated. I’ll try the more organized approach. THis is a list of projects I’ve started in no particular order.

  • Graphic Novel, I(3) (meant to read as “I Cubed”), memoir. Started in 2000. Stopped finally in 2017.
  • Children’s Book: The Flying Poodle, done in late 90’s, abandoned and lost
  • Art Therapist Made Activity Book for People with Airplane Flying Anxiety/Phobias, including: “Facts About Flying”, Word Searches, Coloring pages, Doodle and writing prompts, maybe crossword puzzles. Could be made like a journal format. Got to the idea point.
  • Memoir in form of Picture Book for adults, inspired by “Depression, A Picture Book” and another one. Got to point of using Word Search cutouts to make limbs on characters, did 2 pages, recent idea
  • Books: Using Altered Books in Art Therapy. Plan to edit the book. Got to the point of inviting some other art therapists to author chapters and emailed with Jessica Kingsley Publishers. They reached out to me last August about possibly writing some kind of book.
  • Poetry and art therapy with/as case study: book with a client’s poems written in session and between sessions and my response poetry. Tried to start with categories of poems and with client going through her poems and picking out ones she likes.
  • Possibility of trying to incorporate pages from abandoned graphic novel into some sort of other book with multiple media
  • The Art Box, a book also personal narrative, about my creative process and using pieces about work as an art therapist, artist and personal life to do with creativity. Memoir of Creativity
  • Some kind of compilation of my comic strips from my art therapy Instagram account, comic strip, “The Daily Grind
  • Website for my art, with newest work and prices to sell directly from website
  • Spreesy an app to use to sell art from social media, getting organized and trying to sell through it.
  • making this current website more organized, going through the “Pages” to make it more coherent and look better

It’s interesting that I almost “forgot” about “The Art Box” project, as it is supposed to be something I’m working on now. That was the idea in spring of 2018, to use some time weekly to work on it.

These projects are all in category of “Other”. The main projects are my art projects that I need to finish to sell the work on the website mentioned above. Current art projects:

  • Mandala collage paintings
  • Cityscapes
  • Abstract square drawings, made bigger on wood boards

 

15 Minutes: 2019 Sketchbook Project

Just as I finished my 2019 Sketchbook and have a Tiny Sketchbook to work on, thinking both were due on Feb. 15, they extended the deadline for 2019 Sketchbook but not the Tiny one.

I am currently working on the Tiny Sketchbook. This is the first time the Digital Arts Library has sent out Tiny Sketchbooks. I love making tiny work; I wanted to find a theme that was visually simple and consistent, and finally figured it out, so I’m almost done. Of course this post is abot the regular size Sketchbook 2019 and finishing it.

I’ve been doing these Sketchbook Projects for years. It’s always a black hole of ADHD. Several years ago I had two sketchbooks to fill and ended up filling one and then completely destroying it.

The 2019 Sketchbook was an arduous process and time consumer. My problem usually is that I love sketchbooks, so I spend too much time on it in relation to my “real” art, and it makes no rational sense but it’s a compulsion.

This time round, I think I already wrote about how I filled the entire sketchbook, about 30 pages if you fill both sides. I had already covered several layers of ideas. Finally I looked at it one day and thought, the whole point of this sketchbook was to use it for drawing and keep it simple. It was at the point where I couldn’t really draw a fresh drawing, so I pulled out all the pages and put in my own pages from a drawing pad that has very thick paper. The Pentalic Nature Sketch 7 x 5 inch 130 lb paper. I highly recommend it as a great surface for drawing. I was able to draw on both sides of the paper without it being see through.

So I started almost from scratch besides the cover, back cover, and inside cover. This sketchbook was finally useful in a bigger way to connect to my current work and drawings outside the sketchbook. I used to have a process where I would carry my journal sketchbook everywhere and draw or make collage in it and then eventually force myself to get the work to be made outside the journal on bigger different surfaces. It was a way to find my “series” and then have a launching pad! This year the Sketchbook did launch me into my latest series of work, entitled, “My Cabinet of Unnatural Curiosities.”

Last year I liked my sketchbook while making it but didn’t love it after it got digitized. This year, I already scanned the sketchbook so I know how it will look digitized and I really like it and feel good about it. I also like how the process, as painful as it was time consuming, spat me out at the other end of the creativity tunnel into  my current bigger work.

I am posting some of the images of the sketchbook.  Once it’s digitized, I will post a link to the sketchbook.

Links to see my 2014-2018 Sketkchbook:

This is the one from 2018: Sketchbook Project 2018

Online Art Exhibitions: The Sketchbook Project

I am currently involved with a two online art exhibitions. This post is about The Sketchbook Project.

As I have been working on my 2019 Sketchbook Project, “Pictures and Words: Buildings and Birds”, intensely in the last few days and weeks, and during summer break, I have become more intentional about utilizing the “Community Space” aspect of the Sketchbook Project, to get more involved and be part of this “Crowd Funded Sketchbook Museum and Community Space” that continues to expand. You can find what I call “side projects” and events on their website as well as past sketchbooks and an easy way to sign up and partipate. They sell materials as well, something for another blog post. The latest project I signed on for is the “Tiny Sketchbook Project.” I haven’t received my sketchbook yet, but they look like they are a few inches in size! I also love tiny very small and small works… TIny Sketchbook Project Link

This is their website: The Sketchbook Project Website

It’s defined as a “Crowd Funded Sketchbook Museum and Community Space.” You do have to pay to get a sketchbook and pay extra to be included in the digital art library and exhibitions. I am grateful that one of my clients told me about it in 2013, as it is very fun and unique; also, I’m obsessed with sketchbooks and of course, altering books. The one thing all my sketchbooks have in common is the amount of working and overworking involved. It’s never a simple process for me no matter what…

(It’s a perfect project for my ADHD: While avoiding something too stressful, I hyperfocus on the sketchbook, and have added hyperfocusing on promoting and participating more. I will be part of their “Infinite Drawing” series, and have done a canvas for “The Canvas Project.”)

Here is the link to my latest Sketchbook, (2018), “Inner Landscapes”, from The Sketchbook Project:

https://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/19305

I highly recommend participating in the Sketchbook Project! It’s a very democratic inclusive approach to art and exhibiting art. Anybody can participate. Here are the links to other years I’ve made sketchbooks; each year is completely different from the last year.

This one from 2017, entitled “Many Minds” is my favorite of the five completed sketchbooks:

https://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/18294

 

This one is my 2016 Sketchbook, “When Objects Talk”. I mixed together two drawings series, one that involves comic strip art:

https://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/17880

Here is my 2015 Sketchbook, “Marks on the Edge”, involving mixed media including yarn, fabric, sewing, colored tapes.

https://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/17107

Here is my first Sketchbook, from 2014, “Mosaica for Khakasa”,worked on mostly in the fall of 2013. It’s the most complicated in terms of the process and times spent on it, as well as having things I do in altered books, like extra pages, changing the size of the page, and making windows. I also incorporated Chinese Funeral Paper and dried flower petals.

The Sketchbook Project is on all social media and easy to find. It’s home in Brooklyn is the Digital Art Library. The sketchbooks travel all over the United States and in Canada. I’m predicting they will branch out to other countries soon.

 

Picture and Words Project: Limbo

This post should have two photos, a drawing I’m working on, and what I wrote on the back of the paper.

I started this particular drawing at the beginning of August. One of the key ideas about drawing that I wrote about and is important to me is the not knowing how the drawing will end up or look, and trusting the process and the mystery and enjoying it. That is one thing that connects this drawing process to the Altered Books I’ve been writing a lot about. You don’t know what will happen next, or if you will cover what you’re doing now or how things will end up. The book just unfolds as you make it, like with drawing…

Here’s what I wrote while continuing the drawing two months later:

” I started this drawing in August. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a drawing from a while ago. I can’t get back in it, or I don’t know if it’s perhaps finsihed. This drawing is very unfinished and I felt like going back into it. Sometimes when I use a lot of colors and all different pens, I get frustrated with there being too much color. Then I cover it with a dark color to get it to feel less chaotic. For some reason, this drawing didn’t give me the urge to cover it. I got the urge to fill it up and started on the left side but jumped to the far right side. I haven’t used this paper in a while. It’s think. Also it’s not smooth so you sometimes have to press into it. This drawing still feels like it’s about freedom. Anything can happen next time I work on it. Do I fill up all the white space of leave some of it alone? Is it another cityscape? Maybe it’s something else. I don’t know. It’s a weird limbo. Maybe the title is Limbo. Then I look at it again and feel impatient. I want to finish it quickly. Then when I pick up a pen, I just draw and don’t care about it taking hours more. Would it look different if I spent 3 full hours on it instead of 15-20 minutes at a time? Not knowing is a big part of drawing for me. It’s none of my business how this will look. All I know is the now of drawing it.”