|Your Face is Gonna Freeze Like That|
|My Sketchbook and One of My Writing Journals|
It wasn't until we bought this place in the Hill Country and began spending our weekends here, that they started up again. I think the trigger was sitting on the porch each morning, thinking about our experiences here, jotting down a few notes about them in a spiral notebook, and deciding that maybe I should pick up my old letter-writing habit again -- share some of these "adventures" with older friends and family who weren't hearing about them through emails and facebook. Suddenly these everyday events began morphing into stories as I sat watching the sun come up, and I just couldn't get them down fast enough!
Writing became a major obsession after that, so I quit my job in Houston and moved up here ahead of John, in order to have more time for it. But then I started to feel the need to justify my actions -- to prove I was a real writer which, of course, meant bringing in some bucks for it, right? I took writing classes, joined writing groups, read writing books and magazines, tried to erase my colloquial verbage in order to make my articles more acceptable for publication in journals and magazines, and changed everything my various instructors thought I needed to change. The only problem was, the more I tried to do, the less passion I had for writing, and the weaker my "voice" became. When I let the classes and groups go, and just concentrated on spending quiet time each morning with a notebook in my lap, my passion, and my voice, returned.
Right now, I'm taking all these art classes, and acquiring all these "skills", but I haven't really found my voice or my passion. I'm just not getting those lightbulb moments that compel me to drop whatever I'm doing and run to the studio to let it all out. I've got one teacher telling me I need a sketchbook for nature-based "field notes", and another telling me I need one just for color related notes. There's one wanting me to keep a notebook on lettering styles, and another telling me I need one to practice sketching in. And of course, there are all those notebooks from my morning writing practice, my garden notebooks, my seasonal cooking notebooks, and well, it's turning into notebook/sketchbook chaos around here!
So here's what I'm thinkin'. I'm thinking I just need one good sketch book at a time -- one with sturdy enough pages to take a little paint when I need to make color notes, and with large enough pages for both writing and sketching, but one which is lightweight enough to carry with me when I'm on the go. It will be my writing journal, my travel journal, my field guide, my sketchbook and my idea book. Most importantly, I will spend quiet time with it every morning, letting whatever is in my head spill out onto its pages, whether it be in words, sketches, ideas, or colors. I have every confidence that, if I can stop focusing so much on other artists' voices, and start listening more to my own, my artistic passion and voice will eventually make themselves heard.
Of course, that doesn't mean I can't take the occasional class, whenever I want to acquire a particular skill set, right?