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Art For the In Between Times

April 7, 2011

In Cyndy Goldman’s blog post from yesterday, she writes about Staying Engaged Outside the Studio. This post resonated with me so much that I was inspired to start right now on a new sketch book. I think you will be inspired too by what she has to say about the interruptions called “life” and about having to spend even more time getting the momentum going again. How I can relate!

Not many of us have the luxury of locking ourselves away in the studio at will for stretches of uninterrupted creating time on a regular basis, but we can all stay engaged in between times by doodling and sketching anywhere and everywhere. And her doodles/studies are much more than that. They are celebrations of shape, pattern and color. You have to see them to believe them!

I have never ever done an art journal in the style of the popular ones seen on the web. I have sketchbooks all over the place with a few pages of sketches and then the rest of the book is blank. No dates, no rhyme or reason. Of course they don’t really have to follow any rules, but I really should at least try to fill up one sketchbook or journal.

How about you? Do you have an art journal? Do you create studies in preparation for future work? Or do you just start painting or collaging or sculpting and hope something happens?

Meanwhile, back in the studio:  Here are three collages, just a small nature series. Each one is approximately 5 x 7 inches. I hope you like them.

Innermost Self - Collage with Hand Painted Papers, 7 x 5"

Abandoned - Collage with Hand Painted Papers, 7 x 5"

Secret - Collage with Hand painted Papers 7 x 5"

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2011 6:32 pm

    Nice set. Love the colors and the nonchalant lines. Reminds my of rock paintings.

  2. April 7, 2011 6:46 pm

    Thank you, Eric! So glad you like these.

  3. April 7, 2011 9:42 pm

    These are beautiful, Martha!

    Like you, I don’t personally keep a sketchbook – but I do take one along with me when I travel. I should really try to integrate that into my practice, even if I know they will never be used in preparation for anything else.

    • April 8, 2011 1:27 pm

      Thanks, Lauren. It’s funny, I take one with me everywhere too. I just need to use it! My work is very direct and intuitive as I imagine yours is. But still, I think maybe just doodling and sketching is like playing scales on the piano and can keep those channels open for inspiration.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Congratulations on your solo show!

  4. April 8, 2011 2:05 am

    I used to have journals, but for years, but haven’t used them regularly. More and more, I have come to discard plans altogether, but start working without a plan — and start with the final stage.
    I just read: “Planning means to replace coincidence by error.” I very much like this idea.

    • April 8, 2011 1:31 pm

      Eva, I used to do them but changed my approach too. My favorite way of working is to just dive in. I like that quote!

  5. April 8, 2011 1:09 pm

    Oh, I have lots of those barely-filled sketchbooks! I have never been much of a journal-keeper, but lately, I might have enough of a different mindset to try again. The context of keeping the artistic urges flowing is much better than a “I should do this every day to be a good person” one. Previously, it was a “when the spirit moves me” kind of deal. What I have been doing lately is committing to art every day in some way, and a journal would help me document it. Thanks, Martha, for a way to reframe the process.

    And I love the collages!

  6. April 8, 2011 1:35 pm

    Thanks, Liz! I think my rationale would be similar. I’d see it as a process apart from my work in the studio, but maybe just a way to stay engaged.

    I remember several years ago sitting in the dentist’s waiting room sketching the patterns created by the glass blocks in the doorway. Those are the things that would help me again. (And don’t we all hate sitting and waiting?)

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