Drawing exercise (and many parentheses)

I’m trying out something a little new to encourage myself to draw daily; I’ve had the idea rattling around for ages and am finally doing it because, over the weekend, Jarod came up with it independently and said, “Hey, you should do this.”

So I made up little slips of paper and am writing different words on them, then drawing them randomly to combine and then sketch. I decided I don’t like the little slips, because I keep forgetting what I’ve already written, so I made a list on paper divided up by animals/colors/adjectives/verbs and numbered them so that I can pick a random number and make a set. Even that is a little cumbersome, so I might make a spreadsheet or something. I know, getting way too in-depth here. But I can rearrange that more easily and still keep track of what words I’ve already listed.

Anyway. The whole point of explaining all that was so I could talk about workbooks. When I was studying in New Zealand they were real big on them; it’s basically a sketchbook that holds all your ideas,  notes, sketches, and experiments as well as research and inspirations, and we turned them in for part of the grade on every assignment. It was a real pain in the ass at the time (I felt like I was spending all my time making photocopies), but I kept them all and it’s amazing now to look back through them. It’s all there– reading back through all my notes I remember exactly what I was thinking at the time (mostly, WTF painting class, you are ruining my life), and there is so much raw material that I’d love to develop more.

I never really kept good sketchbooks for my classes at Alfred, except for Printmaking. But even that was much more note-oriented, and I have few sketches and thumbnails and zero reference photos and work by other artists. So for this project I’m compiling a real workbook. At work today I doodled on the backs of order sheets from my tables and am taping those in, and I’m printing out reference photos so that everything will be in one very portable place when I need it. The other reason I’ve never kept good sketchbooks is that I tend to draw in twenty different places, on random pieces of paper (very fond of printer/copy paper), rather than in one single book. Thank god for scotch tape.

I want to draw every day, and I think I’m going to pick a few phrases a week to develop. And who knows. Maybe some will end up as real paintings or prints or something. Anyway! Anything is better than nothing, ne?

Speaking of prints…. I saved up my tip money all summer and bought an etching press! It isn’t set up yet, getting the room ready has been something of a trial and my dad and I are in the process of building a table to hold it. I’ve been quietly chomping at the bit for the last few weeks. You’ve no idea how psyched (and impatient!!) I am. Also keen to try etching with ferric. *insert stifled creativity face here*

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