Jackie Morris first alerted me to the existence of The Art House Co-op and their Limited Edition Sketch Book Project. I love the idea of sketchbooks but I don't always use them, I have a lot, some full, many half empty. My partner has been worried that I've given up making images, making my own work. I have a variety of pieces of equipment that have been languishing whilst I go out and inspire children and adults of all abilities to use their creativity. He bought me one of the Art House sketchbooks as a way of trying to inspire me to make some work for me again.
It arrived months ago, I put it in a variety of safe places and convinced myself I'd lost it several times causing that heart stopping 'why aren't you a tidy person' panic to set in. Thankfully the sketchbook kept finding it's way back to me but its pages stayed alarmingly empty. Here was my problem, I don't know what my story is anymore, so what would I put in this book? I am constantly divided between 'illustrative me' and 'slightly more conceptual me', it is easy to fall into safe ways of working, so I tend to deny myself the pleasure.
When I showed Jo Dacombe, my collaborator in Undiscovered Networks, the sketches I'd done during my visits to Snibston, she was very encouraging, understanding that sketches are marks on the road to more complete thoughts or ideas. My Mentors were less convinced and perhaps they were right, their preparatory work was wonderful. Seeing how other people work is inspiring, trying to find your own voice is hard. Finally I said to myself (and my friends)
"Okay - stop paperwork and funding applications and get on with your sketchbook project. It's tiny, it has 24ish pages - what are you so scared of?" and one very sensible friend replied "every new sketch book I always scribble on the first page - stops it being precious!" I had been working though, it was going on in my head. I was combining the elements I wanted to work with, drawn from resources I'd been gathering. I did keep forgetting what my theme was. I thought it was a journey but I'd actually opted for thread and surface, eventually I decided to combine to two.
So today I have been sitting, filling the pages with quick pencil drawings, I've filled every other page and tomorrow the work will continue. I have to finish by the 16th, so I'd better get moving!
"petticoat |ˈpetēˌkōt|nouna woman's light, loose undergarment hanging from the shoulders or the waist, worn under a skirt or dress.• [as adj. ] informal often derogatory used to denote female control of something regarded as more commonly dominated by men : he was in danger of succumbing to the petticoat government of Mary and Sarah.ORIGIN late Middle English : from petty coat, literally [small coat.]"