We have lovely new Strathmore sketchbooks at Island Blue Print that have either grey or tan coloured pages. I bought one about a month ago, and it has sat lonely and neglected in my studio. Like everything else in there.
Until today, when I finally decided it was time to do some pen and ink. And brush. And water. I drew this strange woman (taken from a book of studio portraits from the 60s), and then did a couple more that didn't turn out quite as I wanted. I'm going to keep at it, though, and keep posting. Keep on keepin' on, and keep on postin'.
When I was a teen-ager I was somewhat obsessed with Joni Mitchell. I knew every word, note, and nuance of every song she had recorded up until 1976 (I believe that was 6 or 7 albums at that point), and could successfully sing along to each of those songs. I just tried to replicate that feat with a few songs brought up on youtube, and sadly I can no longer hit all the nutty notes. Oh well.
Thanks to facebook I just saw an article about an interview she recently gave where she calls Bob Dylan a "plagiarist". No scaredy-cat she, Joni is formidable and says what she pleases. Apparently. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/apr/23/bob-dylan-joni-mitchell
I found a couple of Joni pieces in my sketchbook from Grade 11 Art (I would have been 16 years old). The first is a charcoal drawing, and the second is a cut-and-paste made with newspaper applied to the back cover of my sketchbook. On that one you can see that my art teacher gave me a "C" - 13 out of 20. THANKS MISS CAMPBELL!
I've had an exceptionally hard time trying to decide which song to upload here, but in the end I've decided to go somewhat "Joni-light", if only to avoid revealing any of my tender 16-year-old feelings...
I recently brought home from my mother's basement some boxes containing my old journals, numbering close to 80 I believe (and no, they aren't very interesting, except to me sometimes). Inside one of the boxes I found the following- a book in which I had glued photos I had developed and collages made from letters from old friends. I must have put this together at least 20 years ago, and it felt pretty bittersweet looking at it as I scanned the images. Two of my greatest friends are gone now- Neil in 1997 and Clifford just this past December. That they are gone is not to be born, but I do bear it because I don't have the choice.
I imagine these must have been some of the first collages I ever put together... not that I reeeeally remember. Some of the first, certainly.
The first image is the cover of the book.
Back in the day when mixed tapes roamed the earth and I had time for such things, I worked on some artwork for a tape I had in mind to make. It would appear that I wanted to have a nice lady with her mouth wide open, singing with abandon. But as you can see, the abandon became a little fierce... intense? Angry even? And so I (speaking of abandon) abandoned it, and the very last image you see is the one I eventually used. (My favourite now is actually the third one down).
From the vaults - again. I can't seem to stop myself from rummaging around through ancient sketchbooks these days. This collage may very well have been the very first one- the collage that launched a thousand collages. This is a copy of the original, and it was glued to the front of a sketchbook- hence the paint splotches, et cetera. I'm going to say that this collage is from 1990 or 1991.
Below is the skeleton collage that became one of my first cards, and has been copied about a trillion times. Give or take. I think it's from 1997 or 1998. Old times.
This is an art project I was asked to take part in back in the mid-nineties, part of a large project/installation by the artist Diana Lynn Thompson. I had completely forgotten about it, but I was cleaning up in the studio today and came across it. It's so funny to see, right after finishing "The Sketchbook Project", as these are indeed the pages of a sketchbook too. There was a show at The Richmond Art Gallery (that I never saw- I'm such a putz), where apart from Thompson's paintings & installations there were 18 desks, on each of which were placed the journal/sketchbook of a woman who had experienced the birth or loss of a child (this is reminding me- I was probably asked to write a journal, not do a bunch of insane collages. Whatever.) These pages kind of freak me out- I'm pretty sure I never went through all that craziness... I'm pretty sure I can't have had a baby. I know she's upstairs on our bed eating ice cream and listening to "Pride & Prejudice" on audiobooks with her head-phones, but still. It's hard to believe.
[div="spacing"] . . . [end-div]
I think this may be the end of it. It's going to have to tour The United States of America AS IS. Anyway, let's face it - there will be so many sketchbooks to look at, it will be a crap shoot as to whether mine gets plucked from the shelves and perused at all. What is cool is that if and when someone does look at it, I'll get an email telling me so (thanks to the barcode on the back). So... waiting and seeing.
Please see the previous post for a brief synopsis of what "The Sketchbook Project" is all about. By the time I signed on there weren't that many themes left to choose from, and I chose "It's Raining Cats and Dogs". So there you go. And now the race is on to get something done before I have to mail it out Friday... but I just can't get too worked up about it. I have other things on my mind... DO YOU KNOW WHAT I AM SAYING?
Perhaps you remember The Sketchbook Project from the first page of this blog (oh COME ON PEOPLE... you haven't gone back as far as the first page?). Here is a reminder:
Basically, you sign up, the fine people at Art House Co-Op send you a 5x8 moleskine notebook, you fill it (or, attempt to), you send it back, and it tours the United States of America, ending up in the Brooklyn Art Library. The books must be post-marked no later than January 15th for their trip back to the States, and I regret to say that I left mine till the last minute and am now frantically trying to fill it up with quickie collages. Smitty says I'll probably go back to these and add to them, but I highly doubt that. It's probably a good thing that I'm doing it quickly, and anyway it's a SKETCHBOOK, remember? A SKETCHBOOK. Not the goddamn Sistine Chapel.
ADDENDUM: I should have mentioned that when you sign up for The Sketchbook Project, you have to choose a theme from a list they've provided. There weren't that many left by the time I chose, and for better or worse I chose "It's Raining Cats and Dogs". Hence the heavy cat & dog content you see here.