I recently finished reading Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton. It is an interesting and lively book about a boy and how he responds to and deals with trauma. One of the characters gives a great piece of advice, which I wrote into a little sketch book;
It is great advice. For some time I have used a Lynda Barry ‘daily diary’ strategy from her book Syllabus, which is all about noticing the details. This strategy involves making two lists every day. One list is of 7 things you did and the other is of 7 things you saw that day. The purpose is to ‘teach you to hear, see and remember the world all around you’. It’s fantastic and I am often surprised at what I remember once I get started. You’re also supposed to write one thing you overheard but I have discovered that I am hopeless at that. I never overhear anything and even when I make the effort to I can’t remember what the person said for more than ten seconds. But I have become better at noticing.
I have had unsettled times with the art making recently and am easing myself back into a regular practice by working into some old lino prints. These prints were made onto rice paper, of which I am a big fan. It is a flimsy yet strong material which has a degree of transparency that appeals to my natural love of impermanent looking things. When I do this I am not planning what I add to the print, I just respond to the image. Today I worked into a print I had made of a dead tree on Mt Painter, one of my favourite places on earth. The print seemed to need a flock of birds.
I had a spare piece of paper next to this one which I used to test out the ink or brush. It was a more absorbent piece of rice paper and the effect of drawing on it with ink was quite different. In some ways I like it better.
Tomorrow we will be on the road, heading down south to attend the celebration of life for my mum. Hard times.