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

Everything Old is New Again…

15 Minutes: Everything Old is New Again

I’m doing very different drawings from when I started “Drawriting” with 15 minutes of drawing and 15 minutes of writing on the back of the drawing. These pieces below do not have writing on the back; I’m not sure if I will write on the back or not. perhaps this post is the writing part for now.

A client of mine once explored a concept she said was summed up as : “Everything old is new again.” Her words. I’ve been thinking about that idea, as I reflect on 2018, and now, in terms of my personal art making as a visual artist, about 30 years into making drawings and paintings, collage, etc. Even last May as I started a daily drawing practice, I noticed I was reprising my 2006 – ? work and had revisited that stuff in my sketchbook last year, coming from the “Inner Landscapes” series. I have the old sketchbook journal where the images emerged that later became buildings and Inner Landscapes, which I have now embraced as “Cityscapes.” Before, when I did these, I thought of them as buildings, but as expressing some kind of inside landscape of the psyche. Recently I’ve returned to seeing that it is my relationship with New York City and how the city is part of who I am…

More recently in the past few weeks, I have been revisiting my drawings of faces and leaves. It started with my redoing my Sketchbook Project, in December 2018, drawing faces and leaves. These faces started many years ago; I can’t even remember when. Then I reused them in my Scribble Drawings Collage series in 2007 and 2008.

A while back I drew two bees in my sketchbook project. For some reason I’ve been drawn to drawing bees, no pun intended. Yesterday, I started drawing hexagon hive shapes, due to thinking about bees and because it’s a great kind of drawing connector. I’ve got faces, bees, and mushrooms, so now I have the hive shapes in and out. I haven’t gotten far with it as you can see in the pictures of these works in progress.

Drawing on smaller paper is very rewarding because I can really do a drawing in one sitting and feel like it’s done. It’s hard to be patient with doing drawing/painting on wood and canvas because it takes a lot more time and the discipline to revisit the work and continue it.

I took some of the wood drawings I did in November, which were moving towards being city scapes, and tried to sort of add in the new imagery with limited success, still using fountain pens to draw with.

For some reason it is harder to add in this imagery. I will paint over the wood with white paint and start drawing on top, like the painting in the photo below. That painting has endured a lot, like an archeological site. I don’t know what the first concept was, but there was collage I pulled off years ago, and then drawings of buildings and white again. That was March 2018. Then I went into it more. Anyway, today I turned it “upside down” so I woulnd’t see buildings in the marks underneath the white paint.

The above wood drawing with oil paint is the only one I saved. The rest I painted on top of.

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.”

Wednesday: Image Post Day

I started doing “Mindfulness Drawings” at the beginning of this month, February. I got the idea from a patient who showed me their journal and how they were trying to write down the time and do something to get them more in the moment doodling things.

It’s a great idea and has brought me back to drawing in an observational way. It’s also a great way to draw everyday things without judging your drawing harshly.

It started like this one below in my journal, done on Feb. 4. I wrote down words that were either in my head or observations of the environment or conversation if I was with other people.

I was thinking about mindfulness principles in this one here, like “Observe and Describe” from DBT Mindfulness. In DBT there is also noticing when you’re in “rational mind”, “emotional mind” and “wise mind”.

Some of these drawings are layers of time, where I did some one evening and added more the next day.

The drawing below shows the heart hole puncher I drew as I was using it to make Valentine’s. I drew most of it during a phone session. My communications expert friend had told me recently, “Communication creates reality.” and I shared it on the phone. It was resonating for me and my patient.

This image below is the other side of the page posted as the first image, with the words “Observe and describe.”  I was looking at my watch and a clock so I drew the hands of my watch as well, and the song quoted was going on in my head about time…

The image below from Feb. 9 is in my journal. I started drawing scissors a lot because they were there. I hadn’t yet gotten inspired to make the objects talk.
  This one above is the other side of the journal drawing from the same day/time.

This one below is from yesterday afternoon during another phone session, and the tea pot is talking…

The one below was done last Friday, when I discovered that the heads or objects on the page were talking to me and about me. It started with the objects saying whether I drew them right or not and kept going. I had been drawing these heads from the coffee mug I made out of my images. The heads are from a collage piece; I noticed I was thinking about posting this picture of this drawing on Facebook which I do a lot, so the heads made a bet about when I would post it!  

This one above is from earlier yesterday. I had been drawing pens a lot and hadn’t drawn a bunch of pens in a cup as it seemed too hard. I was thinking of Morandi’s still lives and looking at post cards of them. I think I’m also thinking of Morandi as he mostly did still lives of everyday objects, and this series is starting to be about objects which are used, mostly basic office materials or art supplies, cups, etc.

This one above is on a piece of drawing paper and done last night as the date shows.

These drawings have become a way to be reminded to be mindful, in a different way than the bracelet. Drawing things you see often does get you into a different level of discovery, of looking closely at things you see every day.

This morning I drew the keys on my keychain; I’ve been challenging myself to just draw things, which get rid of judgment, another aspect of mindfulness, which is to be neutral about what is going on right here right now.

The added discovery of the objects talking to each other or saying things is partly thanks to my reading more this year, and thus reading more graphic novels, which inspire me to make my own talking pictures…

Mission Accomplished!

Last month, I was hired to do a very challenging commission, and I am posting the final results here. I will post as some of my process of making the images on the next post. 

It involved a lot of fascinating research about the Lakota Native Americans and their Sun Dance and rituals as well as vision quests. The commission involved drawing images to be put together on a t shirt. This t shirt is a very meaningful gesture of greatfulness from the giver to the people at the Sun Dance…

The process of making the nine images for the t shirt was intense and a spiritual journey vision quest for me as the artist.

Words on t shirt and meaning:

Mitakuye Oyasin: All are related. (We are all connected…)

Cangleska Luta Wiwang Wacipi:

Need to ask the person who comissiinsd the images, as I did not know that he was putting words in it or what words. Seems to mean the sun Dance Circle and unity. Luta may refer to cloud or a person named Red Cloud…

Each image on the t shirt contains many meanings and experiences connected to participating in the Sun Dances. 

The final result t shirt:

   
   

Monthly Post From My Journal Sketchbook

This month I thought I would focus on the theme of things being incomplete, and how journals and sketchbooks can reflect that concept, drawings begun that don’t get “finished”, like some of the ones below, versus drawings begun that I intend to finish and do go back to./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da0/30033911/files/2014/12/img_3195.jpg

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This is the cover of my current journal that I am almost finished with and will try to time it so the new year brings new journal. The cover is a work in progress in that I carry the journal around and things glued to the cover come off, then I glue them back or glue more things on or change the cover in some way, so, often the cover does not look the same at the beginning as at the end. Also all the carrying around causes the cover and back cover to get worn and sometimes dirty./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da0/30033911/files/2014/12/img_3193.jpg

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This below is an unfinished collage./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da0/30033911/files/2014/12/img_3211.jpg

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The drawing below was begun and put aside, not really inviting me to do anything to it. Who knows…/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da0/30033911/files/2014/12/img_3212.jpg

This is part of a page I didn’t like lying on top of another drawing I wasn’t that into…./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da0/30033911/files/2014/12/img_3213.jpg

This is the drawing under that page that I engaged in and then felt displeased with. I don’t really care about making things I don’t like, as the process was enjoyable anyway…/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da0/30033911/files/2014/12/img_3214.jpg

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Comments LinkedIn

Hello regular nice followers to my blog:
I’m in a lot if so called “professional” groups on LinkedIn. When I post, I usually share the link to this blog on those groups.

Someone from “Trauma, Loss, and Art Therapy”, of all places, where you’d expect people to be sensitive and respectful had this nasty stuff to say about my recent post on art and art therapy; in addition, he insulted people who live in New York, LA and other big cities:

“Here’s what I believe. In order to become a bored and certified art therapist, along with jumping through all the educational hoops and internships, one must also MAKE THEIR LIVING SOLELY THROUGH THEIR ARTWORK FOR AT LEAST ONE TO TWO YEARS. This should be a prerequisite for certification. I made my living as a potter for 15 years before I shifted gears. It puts a whole lot of reality and meaning to this art stuff. If I can do it, others are able to also. I read through your post and it seems like mental masturbation to me. I don’t mean to be cruel or disrespectful. Maybe brutally frank, though. Living Art can endow one with an eternity of meaning and knowing, that is, if one isn’t prone to materialistic, nilhilistic, egocentric b.s. that takes place in New York, L.A., and other “hot spots” around the globe. Make a living as an honest, searching artist. Searching and fighting to find then grow your own voice no matter what others say – it’s maddening yet empowering. I throw down the gauntlet. “This ain’t no party. This ain’t no disco. This ain’t no foolin’ around.” My two cents. ”

End of comment. This from a Board Certified Art Therapist. I told him it was rude and nasty and that I will not continue to post about my blog on there. In fact I decided to quit the group. I’m in plenty of other LinkedIn groups anyway. A bit of a dramatic reaction, but my thoughts are, why should I put up with kind of bull shit when I have plenty of nice readers who seem to like my posts and have made supportive constructive comments in this blog.

There sure are a lot of mean self righteous therapists out there! RecentIy, I got another comment that was pretty nasty in some other LinkedIn group from a person who could barely put a sentence together. I will not quote him here. I decided to ignore him…

What do you all think of my recent long post about art? Or about this post?