Back to my roots, Visual Art Journaling Part I...2020 Pandemic Silver Lining, POSE...Authentic Self

I started keeping a sketchbook back when I was doing lampwork and silversmithing, over twenty years ago. I needed a place to keep ideas and inspirations for new designs. Before that, when I was doing pottery, I kept drawing on scraps of paper and misplacing them. Organization wasn’t one of my strong points. Neither was pottery, I loved it but I also sucked at it.

 “Visual Art Journal,” is one of those terms that I first heard in the early 2000s. The entire genus and medium have exploded. It became big business…sketchbooks, all the new fancy pens and pencils, lots of classes, and books written on the subject.  There were (pre-Covid) trips and workshops planned around sketching and plein air painting. Instagram feeds are full of them. Travel groups were formed around sketching, travel journaling became very vogue.

Yeah, I’m showing my age when I use the term vogue. It came from the French phase “en vogue.”  The magazine came later in 1892.  Madonna released “Vogue” in 1990 on her “I’m Breathless” album.  The term goes in and out of popularity.

Wikipedia: “Madonna was inspired by vogue dancers and choreographers Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Xtravaganza from the Harlem "House Ball" community, the origin of the dance form, and they introduced "Vogueing" to her at the Sound Factory club in New York City. "Vogue" is an upbeat house song which set trends in dance music in the 1990s with strong influences of 1970s disco within its composition. "Vogue" also contains a spoken section, in which Madonna name-checks various golden-era Hollywood celebrities. Lyrically, the song is about enjoying oneself on the dance floor no matter who one is, and it contains a theme of escapism.”

One of the Silver Linings of Covid, I binged “Pose” and became a fan. I am thrilled it got picked up for the third season.  If you have Netflix, check it out. 

I also became a huge fan of Billy Porter and love his Instagram feed.  Last year I read an article in Esquire and remembered his name, that's what lead me to watch POSE.  I included a link if you are interested in the article. 

Funny how on experience leads to another...I was going to say I regressed and back to our regularly scheduled program but they do touch.  The article in Esquire led to me watching POSE because of Billy Porter but I wouldn't of watched POSE if Covid's Pandemic of 2020 wouldn't of taken place. I'm a reader more than a watcher when it comes to entertainment. Then I read another interview in Vogue with Billy Porter where he said, 

“All Of This Happened As A Result Of Me Being My Authentic Self”

The article was written in January of 2020, I was a bit late in reading it but talk about this old vanilla, grey haired lady sitting up and taking notice...yeah, that was me. It got me thinking on what am I doing and what do I want to do. I'm starting out with now. It applies to the rest of the pandemic. It's going to be a while until this semi-shutdown of life opens up. On a deeper level, it applies for the next several years. Do I think that the Covid mess is going to last years upon years, no but life will never go back to the way it was. Nor do I want it to. I don't want shopping and eating out to be a main source of entertainment. I was bored with that pre-Covid, I sure as hell don't want to go back to it after. I don't mind eating out once in a while, I could do that now if I wanted to eat outdoors. Which I don't. 

Now back to sketching and journaling...

I haven't been that motivated to sketch or journal most of this year. It wasn't just the pandemic. It was also Willie dying (I loved that cat and still miss him, big void in my life that hasn't filled in yet), the hurricane season, not getting out of the house and bike riding, a sick older cat, plus the realization that I'm bored with a lot of the same 'ol. So I made a list of what I wanted to do with my time:
  1. Read more and keep with with Goodreads. If you are on Goodreads, friend me, I'm quiet but I'm always looking at friends' books. It helps me expand my reading choices. 
  2. Blog more often, it doesn't have to be long winded but enough so that I don't forget about it. Blogging isn't like Facebook, blogging allows me to look over the year and take note of things.
  3. Visual journaling, digital art, photography, beading, and sewing. In that order of importance. Yeah, I did add sewing.
  4. Take online classes and workshops on the above. 
  5. Set monthly goals or interests, so that I focus. Bouncing all over the place is fun but it also wears my focus out. 
  6. Get a decent haircut once Covid calms down around here. I might as well say once I have had the vaccine. 
What do I need to get myself put together so that I can go back to visual journaling and sketching.  So I Googled "visual art journal" and wowser, that was more than I bargained for. Talk about overwhelming and more of a problem than a help.  I already have a studio sketchbook that I keep. It's mostly for color and ideas. When I change a palette or add a new pen, things like that. 

What I need to do is go look at my old sketchbooks and figure out what I liked about them. The more I like something, the more that I will do it. I need to get my thoughts together...

This has turned into a several part blog post. I'm not sure if anybody reads these but these are more me writing down my thoughts.  So if you are interested, check back. 

Laters...I'm off to go look at some of my old sketchbooks...