A Sketchbook Project Regular / by Mary Jennings

DSC_3608

As I age, the more I resemble being regular, the more amazing I feel.  I mean that in every sense of the word. Embracing this regularity is finding ways to spill out into several areas of my work and personal life.  It's comforting to develop a rhythm to life.  I've been regularly getting to the gym by 6am for a daily, vigorous workout for several months. I love the feeling of "making it" to the gym.  Achievement is a beautiful thing.

I get a great feeling when I submit my carefully created Sketchbook Project to the post office for delivery to Brooklyn, New York.  My latest submission marks my forth consecutive sketchbook filled with original art.

It's a really important exercise for an artist to set an intention, meet that intention and follow it through to it's completion.  The additional layer of completely giving away the original creation is not as hard as you would imagine.  It's a bit freeing.

Each year, the books I create reflect the incline of my heart and head for that time period.

DSC_0230

My first book was all about my upcoming fIRST fRIDAY aRT sHOWS.  I had a theme for every month and used the book to almost capture the spirit of the whole year of art before it was created.  It helped get my concept foundation straight for the coming year.

The creative process of the second book was different for me.  I didn't view the sketchbook as a book of separate pages, but as a complete narrative.  While I was in the middle of struggling with some personal issues, creating this book was a way for me to process my thoughts and heal my heart during the process.  I chose to capture the process in a stop motion movie and photo process, allowing me to create a movie of the whole sketchbook creation.  This was very satisfying and proved helpful in letting the very personal sketchbook go; And go it went.  Once I posted the finished movie on YouTube and it's now up to over 1,500 views.  I hope it's helpful for people as they watch it as it was for me to create it.  The power of art amazes me.

My third book was a big push that I waited to complete at the last minute.  I had the complete book organized, page by page.  I just waited too late to get started on the labor intensive task of sketching.  I was nailed to my drawing table for twelve hours STRAIGHT until I barely made it to the post office in time to send it off to Brooklyn, NY.  I didn't like rushing the process.  After all, the process is what it's all about.  I need time to metabolize each page as I create them.  I was able to take photos before I sent it off and that is how I made my second sketchbook project movie.  It doesn't quite have as many views as my first,  but is a solid video in it's own rite.

DSC_8321This latest sketchbook, I elected to have it digitally recorded by the team of superb Sketchbook Project librarians with the Art House Co-op.  This way, my sketchbook can be viewed in person or online.  It can be shared with ease.  I will still make a video for this one because, well, I like to be REGULAR.

 

Please consider joining a gym or sketchbook project this year.  It feels great to be active in every way.  Visiting my blog and sharing with a friend is great fun.