Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nostalgia & Technology


Last Weekend I took my three kids (11, 5 and 2) to the BYU Museum of Art to find some sketching material. I planned ahead and brought their sketch books, crayons, coloring books etc. to get them in the mood as well. The MOA had a exhibit called "Nostalgia and Technology" which was a historical look at industrial design or daily ephemera that our parents and grandparents would use day to day. These items were truly works of art. Well, the plan worked at first and I was able to get two sketches done - about 45 minutes until they started to loose it. I put away the sketchbooks and decided to wander through the other exhibits.

I have found that 1 1/2 hours is max for a museum visit for this curious "touchy feely" group. As soon as they got climbing on sculpture (yikes!!!!) and touching a Andy Warhol "Marilyn" and the visiting Maynard Dixson pieces I knew it was time to take a quick exit before security kicked us out with a resounding "do not come back".

Next time I might try the Bean Museum of natural history-- stuffed taxidermy would make great sketch subjects without raining security on top of us. Oh well, they all told their red-faced dad that "it was really fun" and when could we go back again? I had to think on this one a little more carefully.

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2006 Goals


Members of the EDM group have been talking about art goals for 2006 and I have thought about what I wanted to do this year as well.

1. Two drawings per week (would love to move up to daily sketching- but I have yet to prove it to myself- so I will set a realistic goal).
2. Make three sketchbooks- my next sketchbook, a sketchbook just for color studies, and a sketchbook for figure sketching/painting.
3. Redesign web log- with the intent to get a Wordpress site up and going.

When I first started to pick up my sketchbook frequently again (back in 2000) I struggled with the idea of "making time". I finally found out late 2003 that if I could make my sketchbook small and light and get a sketching kit that I could take everywhere I go I could finally make the time. The time being found in the found times in between everything else in our busy life. It started to work and I not only began to improve and enjoy myself as I would hope but I found that I wanted to do more.

Soon I found like-minded people on the web and got inspired by all of the great work they were doing and found that this little sketchbook I was carrying around with me was actual a graphic journal. I have really taken strongly to this idea and found that I didn't need to create large gallery type pieces of art- my art was a take along in progress work in the form of my sketchbook.

I have enjoyed sketching but found I was disappointed in the sketchbooks available and the watercolor sketchbooks were too expensive and too large for my needs. I decided to make a sketchbook which at first became a spiral bound book of bristol paper then I quickly went to arches hot press water color paper. Then last spring I was inspired by others on the web to make my own hand stitched watercolor sketchbook. Now after 50 sketch pages later I am about to finish and begin another. This last sketchbook has already became a treasured piece that has my little children always asking to see what I've done new. The sketches and paintings of my kids have become favorites and they always look at them and talk about what I've done. I can see now it will become an important heirloom to our children and their future posterity. It could be considered art by others but now it is too precious to us as a family heirloom.

Since 2004 I have made five spiral bound sketchbooks (my first attempts) and I'm just finishing up filling my first hand stitched hardbound Fabriano 140# Hot Press sketchbook. Part of my goals this year is to make three more sketchbooks (already accomplished) - I now need to concentrate on sketching daily (eventually) without sacrificing my family, church and professional responsibilities. I have found that sketching has been an incredible boost to my sanity and helping me maintain a personal creative output (and really a more happy person as well). Whenever I have felt down and focusing on the problems at hand I have stopped sketching- I then have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and begin again- it is easy once I start but that inner critic tells my I can't and shouldn't. Sketching is truly great therapy.

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