Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Stopping Time

While I was clearing out some things from my mother's house, I came across an old pastel drawing that I had sent to her many many years ago. It made me cringe a little to see it and to know that I had moved forward so much since then.

It made me think of how we begin as artists and the practice and knowledge that we seek helps us grow and become confident in making marks on paper. It seems like such a slow process of learning at the time and we don't know until we look back and reflect or compare works just how far we have come in our journey and how much we have learned.

I have a little journal by my bedside that I write and draw in at night before I sleep. I wish I had kept one years ago when I was just starting my journey in art. I would love to compare them now and see the changes and the similarities. For those starting out, keeping track of where you are, where you have been and where you want to go are important as a measurement of growth. I have gaps in my journey and areas that are sparsely populated, except in memory.

Perhaps I'm trying to make up for lost time now. I think as we age, we realize how much of life we let pass by and what opportunities we miss for a variety of reasons. I produce as much art as I can because I hear the clock ticking. There are so many ideas and so little time - truly. I feel as if I want to stay up 24 hours straight just to fit in more time to capture images of life.

These images are included in that night time journal. They are images from my head, sparked by any number of things that happen during the day and sit in my brain waiting for release. Some go on to be full drawings or paintings, others find their contentment in simple form on a page.


Rose Welty said...


You can draw like that from memory? Wow. I value your opinions I'm going to have to think about a nightly journal that you suggest. :-)

It is always so interesting to look back, it truly is.

Anonymous said...

Keepiong the journal by your bed sounds like a good way to build the habit.
I've never much been one to be consistent in a sketchbook (unless I''m trying to solve a composition problem or something).
You're so right that that learning process is never-ending
I, too, seem to feel like I'm running out of time; don't waste a minute!!
Although I don't do much of sketches, I love the simplicity of yours. Beautiful!

Jeanette said...

Yes, this comes from memory. Not all work, some are pretty strange looking :) However, it is amazing how much information you retain and can put into place.

I wouldn't draw from memory for a 'real' drawing. I'm too detail oriented and want reality in place.

Thanks Tracy. Sketchbooks are a really valuable tool both for recording thoughts and images and its wonderful to look back on them over time and see progression.

"JeanneG" said...

I did write in a journal most days for about 5 years but never did art in them. Now I do sketchbooks and don't do writing in them much except labeling. When I got into my art so much, my poetry writing seemed to stop too. I guess I am destined to be creative in just one way at a time.

Jo Castillo said...

Jeanette, what a nice story. I love the journal idea, but I have never been good at it. My blog is my first consistent writing or sketching.

I admire your dedication. The double portrait is coming along nicely.