January 2, 2011

Sketchbook Project Woes

 Back cover of my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project.   8.5 x 6

I'm staring at my wine-colored sketchbook, received from The Sketchbook Project months ago, due back to them in two weeks (postmark deadline: January 15).  So far I haven't made the first mark in it.  Today might be the day.  Then again, it might be tomorrow.  One reason for deadlines is to overcome the fear of making that first mark on a page, whether your field be art or writing or music.

I act as though everything depends on the first page, even though I know good and well that it mostly "depends/upon/ a red wheel/barrow".  The same impulse, or absence of impulse,  arises in people who've been in my writing groups; they want to write and would except for the paralysis.

To break up mine, I wandered around on youtube, using the search phrase Sketchbook Project, to see what other folks had done.  Here's a surprise.  People are doing in their sketchbooks what they do in their real lives.  People who draw anime are drawing anime.  People who like a nice watercolor background are watercoloring each page before adding details. People who love charcoal are doing charcoal sketches.

Cover art follows the same principle.  People who gesso everything and use tools to create imprints?  Guess what?  They're gesso-ing and using tools.

As I well know, the only remedy for my malady is to begin.  Considering that I began Mailart 365 on December 1 and Fibonacci Poetry 365 on January 1 -- both of which entail a production per day -- this little sketchbook should be a sweet joy to work on.

Time to dig out book pages, paints, embroidery thread, fabric, alphabet stamps, and postal stamps.  And Sharpies.  And pencils.

Let us begin gladly and continue in high spirits, quickly.

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