Friday, July 9, 2010

IF - Diary AKA Every Moley Tells a Story

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary"

-- Pablo Picasso

I chose to illustrate this quote by Pablo Picasso for this week's Illustration Friday theme of diary. And I did it on the very last blank page of the very first moleskine I ever bought. Aside from two small moleskines that I've completed for specific projects, it's also the first moleskine that I've completely filled. And it only took me three and a half years to do it.

This is the large watercolor moleskine and in many ways it has become my diary. It records places I've been and things I've seen and done. But it also records things that are probably obvious only to me. It records my artistic journey. When I flip through the pages I see the progression in tools and techniques. I see the growth that occurs when you try things you didn't think you could do. I see what happens when you make a focused effort to work on your art even when you're not sure it's working at all.

I started this visual diary on new years day 2007. I didn't even own a waterproof pen and I used an old set of pan watercolors most likely left over from my kids' kindergarten days.

The early pages were inspired by Danny Gregory and his book Everyday Matters. I hadn't even tried to draw for years and was pleasantly surprised that my attempts weren't as hideous as I feared they would be.

I moved on to watercolor pencils and eventually discovered Micron and Pitt pens. I love the memories captured by these simple little drawings.

Next came the challenge of joining a local sketchcrawl group on their monthly outings to local attractions. Sketching in public, standing up, outdoors, or in cramped quarters was all new to me. I didn't always love it or the sketches I created, but I continued on in an effort to grow and improve. I started using artist watercolors in tubes and combining those with watercolor pencils.

Today's post represents my 41st attempt at Illustration Friday. After a good number done on random scraps of paper, it occurred to me to draw them in my moleskine. I have to admit, I do like seeing them all together in one place. This weekly challenge motivates me to complete a project in one sitting and then put it out there before I over think it or change my mind.

My first filled moleskine may be a random collection of images and experiments, but it definitely tells a story. I'm a little sad that it's complete. It feels like getting to the last page of a really good book and not wanting the story to end. Then again, the thought of a fresh moleskine just waiting for ink and color is pretty tempting too!


Anonymous said...

beautiful! love how you've portrayed your journey, it's very inspiring.

Seth said...

Love the pages you have shown here. And I agree that it is just wonderful to be able to leaf back through a journal like this and see the changes that have taken place. Beautiful.

lori vliegen said...

SO many things to love here:
*the beautiful story told about your creative progression via your moleskine
*your fabulous doodles in your moleskine!
*that magnificent doodle in the last photo.....oh my goodness, you KNOW i'm just drooling over all of those sweet colorful doodles tucked into little squares....oooh, how i love doodles in squares!!
*knowing that even though this moleskine is complete, you're going to begin a new one (with maybe more doodles in squares?!)!!

keep on're such an inspiration!!!
xox, :))

Anonymous said...

Wow, your drawings are really spectacular. What a lovely document of your artisitic journey.

I just got my first boss gave it to me and she got it at a conference. I'm trying to think what I can do special with it but I can't draw so that's limiting. I also just learned how to pronounce it...mol-a-skeen-a.

Vicki Robison said...

Congratulations. I enjoyed looking at the diversity of your pages. I am also inspired. I have several sketchbooks (about 20 give or take a couple) and none of them are full. I hope to have a finished one some day! Thanks again for the beautiful tour.

ArtPropelled said...

Love the quote and your journal is very inspiring. A great start to my day.