What is a true eclectic to do when her passions lead her in different directions?
This is a blog for the unfocused, the round pegs in the square holes, the short-attention span types, and all those who just can't bring themselves to join the ranks and adhere to a single category of activities or interests...whether sketches, drawings and comics, fixing an old farmhouse in Oregon, or whatever else strikes my fancy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What drawing means to me (03-02-11)

As I've slowly been organizing my new studio, I finally got to the boxes that had been packed up since September 2009, when we sold our house in SE Portland. Obviously, life went on without these things, and it was manageable. Yet, I've always disliked the thought that if you haven't worn an item of clothing for a year, you need to discard it. It's not that I am a collector, but I need the familiarity of objects I like to feel grounded.

So, I embarked on my box opening project with some anxiety. What if everything inside was now meaningless? What if the images, the art supplies, the small objects just turned out to be junk? More pointedly, if the things I once liked had become irrelevant, would I in turn feel irrelevant?

Opening box after box of art supplies, paints, markers, pencils, I found some treasures: the box of watercolors my grand-father sent me when I was 23, the metal tubes twisted and mangled, the paints hardened to chunks, and another box my mother sent me around the same time, still pristine, still unused, and still evoking the same feelings of wonder when I carefully open it.

I found my journals, the oldest one from when I was about 17 years old, full of goody-girly nonsense, and its existence brings out feelings of regrets over the solemn sacrificial burning at age 16, of two previous journals whose every page was filled with rage and anger, expressed in a rainbow of red, blue, or green fountain pen ink.

I found my sketchbooks, all of them, and placed them pell-mell on a bookcase shelf, and this is the first time I can see all of them side by side, and the real space they take. The first sketchbook I bought in 1997 was small and black, filled with timid and hesitant drawings of people, followed by an unimaginative series of more identical black sketchbooks.

My sketchbooks of choice now are my reliable hand-bound sketchbooks my dad buys in Budapest and sends in an occasional package, along with dark chocolate, sweet licorice or violet candy, and Speculoos cookies or spread from Belgium. (A side note here about the cover patterns: my dad clearly favors historical Hungarian motifs, while I prefer colorful images, like flowers or objects, but I can't complain since these are the best sketchbooks ever.)
My present sketchbook

I've been more impatient with drawing lately, ready to move on to another page, taking less time to work on individual pages. I also use less color, while I would actually prefer more color in my books. But in the case of fashion sketches, I find that a few lines say it all, the place has been visited, it's time to do something else, like another sketch...so turning the page is getting easier.


  1. What is so wonderful about these sketchbooks, exactly. I read your previous post about them and wondered:
    How big are they?
    How many pages, approximately?
    What kind of paper?
    Any chance you can find a US source for importing them?
    Inquiring minds want to know!

  2. The sketchbooks are about 5" x 7", small enough to fit in a bag. They aren't very thick (although they used to make some smaller and thicker sketchbooks a few years back). The paper is similar to pastel paper, and works with markers, pencils, pens...neither too thick nor too thin. What is distinctive about these books is the beautiful covers. The company also makes beautiful cards, address books, cooking journals, etc.
    I so much like these books that I contacted the company a few months ago to see about carrying some books from the sketchbooks line and selling them myself, but was put off by the contractual requirement to sell the books through a dedicated franchise, as in a store selling only their books, displayed according to company guidelines, etc. I am still pursuing my idea, though.