Saturday, September 13, 2008

This year, instead of keeping my usual journal, I bought four identical sketchbooks, one for each quarter. I've been giving every day one page. This isn't nearly enough for a writer, though it should be for a visual artist. What I've discovered this year is that, by disciplining myself not to stretch too far into the "future" I add more and more to the "present" and, on those early mornings when I want to color and scribble, the past. What do you think? Is this a good practice for living? Staying with today's page is equivalent to living in the present. Not too much going over the past, and only preliminary planning, maybe a laying down of a base color or outline, maybe a small image to get me thinking for a page not too far in the future.

We can't live in the past, but, as an artist, I find I do need to look over a piece with a fresh eye. Isn't it a pain in the ass to hoist yourself to a rule: live in the present and then be someone who must be able to lay today aside until tomorrow and then think about it, as if it were a piece of work, a thing. 

A journal page is a thing...a representation of a thought had in the context of a day, a week, a month, a season. What has been so helpful about breaking the year into four books, four seasons, is that three months really is enough time to consider a set of pages.

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