Drawing my daughter while she is drawing. It is much more easy to draw old, wrinkly people then young children. I did draw her on the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull in October. We stayed in Hull for one day, visiting The Deep aquarium. And we visited the Wilberforce House Museum. William Wilberforce was a famous campaigner against the slave trade. From the website: “The museum tells the story of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its abolition, as well as dealing with contemporary slavery. Galleries also offer a fascinating glimpse into West African culture.”
Drawings I made in the Coffee Company Amsterdam. For more thoughts on drawing in café’s see this post on February 2011.
My 10-year-old nephew asked me: “How do choose what to draw?” His question surprised me because he doesn’t seem to have any problems with that. He draws terrific birds all the time. I said to him I didn’t mind what I draw, as long as I draw something. Thinking too much about and not knowing what to draw can paralyse me. Thinking about it more I realised I can divide the subjects I draw in two. I draw portraits for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party (JKPP) and I draw whatever is in front of me (a lot of the time this is my partner). Here are some JKPP portraits I made in December.
Since I am a member of the ‘blogging without obligation’ – tribe, I will not apologize that I didn’t blog for four months. I would like to share some thoughts, though, about not having blogged for a while.
In 2011 I committed myself to drawing every day, blogging every week and I challenged myself to draw my partner 100 times. I didn’t blog every week, bur I’m very satisfied with 43 posts in one year. Committing myself to drawing every day, made me draw about 2 till 5 times a week and I am very satisfied with that too. It resulted in a lot of JKPP-drawings and this pile of diaries.
In January I reached my goal of drawing my partner 100 times, for 2012 I didn’t commit myself to blog every week. After January I didn’t post anymore and I almost stopped drawing. I said to myself: maybe it is good to stop for a while, to reflect on drawing. Why do I draw? Well, after ‘reflecting’ for four months I do not have a clue. My conclusion is that thinking about drawing without drawing is not very insightful. I do know that I need some activities in which I do not ‘think’. And I do know that I need a challenge, routine or whatever to keep me drawing. At the moment I can’t think of another challenge than to start blogging again every week. So…see you next week.
One week ago Michael Nobbs tweeted: “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! @paulienmaria has been working little and often and produced 94 portraits http://ow.ly/7SGjA“ Michael promotes the Sustainably Creativite tool: the little and often mantra: “Little and often” is for me a gentle reminder to keep moving forward using small regular steps.”
I have seen his approach in two self-help books and it really helped me a lot. While writing my Master thesis in 2005, I sticked to the advice of Joan Bolker in her book Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day. Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, or SARK as she is known, calls it “micromovement”: tiny steps that add up to a big difference. She writes about it in her book Make Your Creative Dreams Real.
Last weeks I mainly concentrated on drawing portraits for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party (JKPP) on Flickr: “This group is a virtual Portrait Party in which artists draw each other from photos posted for that purpose. All members of the group are therefore both subjects of portraits and creators of portraits.” I counted my JKPP portraits and found out I made 116 since I started one year ago. I didn’t make any goals and in JKPP there are no expectations: you can draw as much or as little as you want. Fellow JKPP’er Erica Smith wrote on Facebook when she passed the 100 JKPP portraits: “Drawing this many portraits really crept up on me, it wasn’t hard!” That’s exactly my experience.
About 14 months ago I set out to draw my partner 100 times. Last summer I lost count, because I worked in two notebooks at the same time. Yesterday I sat down to count the drawings and I found out I did draw 94 portraits of him. These are the last ones.
Last Wednesday I visited the Phd defense of Huub van Baar at the University of Amsterdam. His dissertation is titled The European Roma: Minority Representation, Memory, and the Limits of Transnational Governmentality. I made a documentary film about a Roma (gipsy) family in 1998, so the topic interests me. His dissertation has more affinity with my interest in women’s and cultural studies though, and if I want to know more about the concept ‘governmentality’ his dissertation will probably the thing to read.
My computer didn’t work anymore properly since the beginning of August. I deleted everything, installed everything back. Then it worked for a few weeks. Then again I had to use the ‘disk utility’ program to ‘repair’ the disk. Then it worked for a few weeks, and then again the same troubles which took me some days to solve.
Last week I brought it to a shop where somebody replaced the hard disk. I drew the old hard disk, before I will throw it away. I paid a little more than 200 euro’s and I have 300 Gb’s more than on my old hard disk. Now it works perfectly for already a week 🙂
I have the ‘blogging without obligation’ logo and the ‘post a week’ logo on this blog. Is this contradictory? Probably. They are both useful for me, though. ‘Blogging without obligation’ is an idea by tiffini elektra x: “After coming across what seemed to be the 4000th or so post on someone’s blog starting with “I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.” I decided it is time to rethink what makes a good blog and the expectations that have come to be part of it. I am thinking that no one should utter those words again . . .and with that thought I give you Blogging Without Obligation.” I really agree with her idea. It is very difficult though to not start to talk about not having blogged.