Sketchbook: Our Most Magical Plan for Then and Now
Note: Here’s the second in a series of sketchbook fragments, with a few words draped around the edges for context or color or… because it looks better on the screen than wordless images.
Several weeks ago, I came down with a head cold. It was my first sickness since March 2020, just before the pandemic turned the world upside down, a marker of passing time that is hard to comprehend. Nothing too serious, but the sensations of the cold were unfamiliar/familiar, like a lost memory of what a body feels like when the immune system switches on in earnest. I napped a lot, in bed and on the couch, feet kicked up, occasionally drawing. I like drawing feet. Following the contours of feet and toes with pencil on paper should yield an improbable image, but then it comes together and there they are: feet!
I’m a lazy artist (I even balk at the label anymore), and these tape collages are perfect for lazy makers like me. Tear off a length of transparent tape, gently stick to a magazine or newspaper, carefully (but quickly!) lift up, and slam the tape down on the page. (I think I discovered this technique from Austin Kleon.) It’s playing fast, with texture and color and image residues and text. “Our Most Magical Plan for Then and Now” – the occasional, choice morsel of word-mash appears.
I suppose the attention required to draw from observation is maybe less lazy of me. How could I resist drawing this lovely object? Soft tape measure, without the metrics, because – lazy – and must we measure everything?
I probably think and make best serially, exploring techniques, forms, images, and words on repeat in patterns over multiple iterations. The spiral of the tape measure imprints, and then I draw a spiral days later. And a made-up word: hovelier (pronounced en française to rhyme with sommelier): one who lives in a small, crude dwelling. IDK.
I am very grateful to feel a sense of belonging in more than one community and group that I’m a part of. Many do not feel this, and suffer greatly because of it. I write the imperative “we belong” to remind myself that in every social interaction and group experience I may have the opportunity to nurture a sense of belonging for someone else, to find a connection that may be a tether for someone. (See Peter Block’s Community: The Structure of Belonging for how I’m understanding the importance of belonging for community building.)