the sketchbook project 2013: background process

The start of my sketchbook pages, 2012 (the color is off because this image was taken at night)
The start of my sketchbook pages (the color is off because this image was taken at night with overhead lighting)

I don’t like blank white pages.  I find something daunting about a blank canvas, an empty sketchbook, or a clean sheet of a paper.  I can’t explain what I dislike exactly–

I suppose something inside of me dreads the potential failure of each work.  That first mark feels like such a commitment to the work. Each work begins with equal potential of ending as a successful composition or an awkward disaster. Each first mark always feels a little wrong and off.  I always second-guess myself.

Background fronts I
Background fronts I
Background fronts II
Background fronts II
Background backs II
Background backs II
Pages wrapped in wax paper in preparation for pressing.
Pages wrapped in wax paper in preparation for pressing them flat.

I’ve learned what works best for me is to move well past that first mark, before I even have time to think about it. I let the excitement of starting a new project silence the the negative analytic voice in my head.  I splash water and drip colored inks.  The colors blend and bleed into the white pages.  I glue various papers to add new patterns, colors, and textures.

Once I begin this process, I feel completely at ease—with the white pages messy, wet, and gluey, I feel happy and confident.  My work becomes intuitive, and I know that the color and ink will bleed into themselves however they will.  And however that is, it will be fine.

2 Replies to “the sketchbook project 2013: background process”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: