September 15, 2008

Memory-Keepers - Drawing

What is a memory-keeper drawing? I like to think of it as a way to document events, memories, of things that happen to me in my life or that are important to me in some way.
If the professors in my art classes had talked about keeping a sketchbook as a way to document one's life, or make sense of the visual images bombarding us daily, or as a visual journal we can look back on thirty years down the road--well, I might have kept a more faithful journal. We were just told that "all artists should keep sketchbooks." Certainly practicing technique is important. Working out ideas before commiting them to more expensive materials is a good idea too. But how about forgetting about "doing your best," or "perfecting technique," and just getting down the images, feelings, memories? That is what I'm finding joy in now, as a "mature artist." My inner critic has been silenced, for the most part, and I can draw without evaluating the worthiness of my product. I can create art for art's sake, for my sake.

I was thinking recently about all the pets I'd cared for in my lifetime. Rather than write a list, I drew them. The ones who were with me briefly and went to live with others, are shown walking or flying off the edges of the paper. Those who stayed with me until they died, are shown with little halos. Quite a list when it was all compiled: Timmy the teddy bear hamster who liked to watch TV while sitting on my knee; Marcel, my first pet bird, a Gouldian finch; Joey my first dog, a dashhound; Bailey, the beloved cockatoo whose funny antics still bring a smile to my face.

As for the drawing; it's just OK. But it got me to thinking about other projects that could take off from this one. Actually, this drawing came to me after seeing a photo of Frida Kohla with parrots on her shoulder.

Whether using ATCs, AECOs, collage, paint, scrapbooks, or writing in a journal or drawing in a sketchbook--take time to document your life.

I have some sketches I did decades ago. I've been carting them around from place to place and they are getting rather raggedy. I think I will scan them into my computer and print them out on Epson presentation matte paper (my favorite) and assemble them in a binder.

Do you have any sketches or artwork done, not for the final product, but as a process for keeping memories?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are closed at this time. Thank you for visiting Appalachian Morning. Please connect with me via my website:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.