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.
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.
I bought for my 9-year-old daughter the dutch translation of the book ‘Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered’ by Quentin Blake and John Cassidy. It is a fun book and my daughter loves to draw in it. Blake advises to use a watercolor pencil and then rub over it with a wet finger. I like the simplicity of it and used it in this drawing of Anna Black. It seems as a good starting point for me to discover the use of color.
I somehow lost the habit of drawing every day. Well, I almost never drew every day, but the intention of drawing every day made me draw at least 3 or 4 times a week. The last weeks I forgot to draw even those 3 or 4 times though. Then I remembered Julia Kay and her habit of drawing every day. So I took my journal and didn’t think about what I could draw, didn’t look at Flickr, email, twitter, FB, newspapers and other digital and analog distractions, and started to draw the view I saw regularly the first 18 years of my life. It is the view from my parents house on the river the Merwede.
Sometimes I have no idea at all and I just start somewhere. Most of the time I have some idea about what I want to draw and how I place on the page. During the drawing things always work out differently. Because people move. Because I planned to draw four people, but only three fit on the page. So mostly I just start somewhere and then find out where I will end up.
In this drawing I planned to draw both my brother and his friend, but during the drawing I realized that if I draw the real size of the space between the two, my brother’s friend will not fit on the page, so in the drawing I reduced the distance between them.