Last May I mentioned sketchbooks and the Brooklyn, N.Y. Art Library's collection of the Sketchbooks of 2011, 2012 and 2013. (See post of May 1, 2013 Sketchbooks and real drawings). This year I signed up again for the Sketchbook Project 2014 and have called my book "One Step Up from a Doodle" as a tribute to the humble doodle -- that source of solace and ideas. I haven't finished the sketchbook yet but wanted to start it off here with the original doodle and the drawing that came from it.
Caught in an upward swirl, in a maelstrom, we are swept up and whisked away; the ground beneath us failing in its support. It flows away in rivers and eddies, the vortex out of sight.
Such turbulence reflects the state of our inner and outer being, reflects the age in which we live and reflects the direction of our individual and collective consciousness. As it lifts and carries us -- a soft landing is our hope.
"Oh" she said, "I saw this face with so much going in and coming out of the head -- I loved it!! I thought it was exactly ----- me!! And it showed how my head was full of confusion and thoughts and things flying around in it. It said exactly how I felt."
Is this our reality when we are faced with decisions?
Plotting a course through the immensity of the universe it never pays to dwell on our place in it, nor even ponder a little. Yet it is a constant this universe of ours; this immensity and our aloneness in it.
We are all so mobile and so connected yet if we stop to take notice, we are amongst the lucky ones.
Free of woods, free of buildings, free of debris, they seem to move with the wind. Open land, cleared and enclosed but not magnetic. Not the meta in the data, not the field in the record. Cleared for landing, for grounding, a parcel, a lot -- a lot of lots, spruce barrens and fallow.
The vaulting arch of the sky at once luminous, limitless, and ever moving, puts on a planetary show at nightfall. Within their own spheres, in their own orbits, they speak of light from long ago. Such immensity only shows itself in the dark.
No longer navigational guides they have become beacons to our future and objects of wonder.
It is airy, resembling the atmosphere, the colours part of the mass of air that proceeds from one's own vision. Surrounding the environment, layers of colour in the land and in the air lead forward and upward.
"...colors become visible in every object according to the nature of that object..."
Bound by water; its very definition is an island, a natural boundary unlike others that are just lines drawn in the sand. Contained by the sea yet the sea washes it away. We look outward -- not too far lest thoughts stray to other lands and other climates.
Composed and presented in three parts, it becomes one. Eyes fill in the gaps, effortlessly. Originating with the Greeks, of course, a triptychos displays three folds, three panels, three sheets of an essential unity of thought in an image.
I am a purchaser of sketchbooks. Can't resist, must have, do have. Many. Never completed, I left them for another day. Then one day I bought another sketchbook, brought it home, looked at the pile of unfinished ones and brought myself to account. "No more sketchbooks until you finish the old ones" I told myself. This was very hard. This was difficult. This was like not scratching an itch! BUT, it worked. I still buy sketchbooks but now I finish them.
Then a friend sent me the link to a traveling sketchbook project "Sketchbook Project 2011" sponsored by the Brooklyn Art Library, NY. Such a great idea! Sign up (and pay for) a sketchbook, one is sent to you barcoded with your name and the theme you chose. Complete it by a certain date and mail it back to participate in a traveling exhibit of thousands of sketchbooks that travel all over the USA and a few cities in Canada.
Reflection, meditation, creation: three necessities for the human spirit. Time slips from our grasp in a myriad of activities and errands, yet there is a longing to save time, to store it, to savour it -- to use it wisely.
Seeking time's riches on a shore gasping for perspective, for insight, for inspiration before the froth stirred by the undulating sea washes our traces away.
Hollow bones are needed. Feathers too, lightweight but strong. Feathers conditioned with daily grooming. The preening of plumage to and fro in frenzied but orderly motions takes on such importance. For what purpose do these daily duties prepare them?
Taking flight to other climates, other springs, they return to us.
That place on the shore -- impressions in the mind collected while roaming rocky shorelines in search of fossils, shells, or sea glass. Impressions formed from regions and countries on different continents and in different climates.
Rock Country -- seeking to convey the interplay between rock, sun and sea. Rock Country -- ever changing moods reflected in the lives and identities of those who make their home there.
Autumn light leaves early; the colours on days when the temperature is "crisp"are intense. After the leaves have fallen, after they've been raked up and carted away, the grass is left still green waiting for the snow.
Light flickering in a chancy, undefined way catches the eye through the leaves, stems and brambles. Cool in the summer. Outlined in snow in the winter, brilliantly ablaze in the autumn, the eye's task is to define and trace branch to root; the roots impossible to trace.
Enter the world of "Let's Pretend" -- allowing one's mind to accept what it knows is impossible -- suspending disbelief . What is the opposite of this? Real worlds that are within worlds, even a dream that turns to reality ten years later, are both within us yet elsewhere...
and are not "pretend". Worlds within worlds are reality.