Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I can't take credit for this idea. I read it somewhere. Someone suggested it and for some reason it stuck. Partly, perhaps, because I'm keen to declutter and simplify my life. Also because it is full of potential excitement, innovation and craziness. It's this:

Before I buy any new art materials, I'm going to use up all the stuff I have.

A few days ago I filled the last page of my sketchbook. Here it is: three water containers all made of glass. I was house sitting for a friend and these were on her kitchen bench. 

But I digress.
So, end of sketchbook. I don't keep a stash of sketchbooks. I like the choosing part - the 'what kind of book will I get this time?' thrill. So at the end of this book, I looked around at my options. 

Aha! A nice little blank Moleskine cahier. Creamy paper, but thin, designed more for writing than drawing  Still, it works ok and it is thin enough to live unobtrusively in my everyday bag. It even quite graciously, accepts some watercolour, 

Something else I found was a box of system cards. Large ones. Mostly blank. I don't have a system that they can be useful in - indeed I really only bought them because they were such tidy and inviting white surfaces... so I've started drawing on them. My plan is to get a box that they can all be put in.

I have some other ideas for sketchbook alternatives - I'll keep you posted. So far I still have watercolours, though I'm running out of Naples Yellow and my lovely orange is all used up. 
I'm weirdly excited to see what will come of this. Will I end up drawing in my least favourite colours until they have all been used? Or will I mix media - watercolour plus crayons?
Stay tuned!!!


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  2. I was going to edit the following, when I realized that really, all of it applies!:

    “Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life...If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature...Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”
    ~ C.G. Jung §The Red Book: A Reader's Edition

    I firmly believe this and am looking forward to developments in your world of art, no matter what they arre. (Actually, i feel there is far too much emphasis on having this or that "perfect" paper, brush, pen, ink, set of paints, and so on. I'm referring to Facebook, but it is on blogs and other places too. But then, perhaps I am just jealous because I can't afford really expensive equipment.)

    1. What an illuminating quote. I believe what he says about accepting madness and I, too, am looking forward to seeing what transpires out of all this. A strange feeling, not having a 'proper' sketchbook, both unnerving and exhilarating. Adventure, freedom and homelessness all in one.

  3. Hi Evelyn, I too am trying to de clutter my art supplies but it is just so hard to part with the funny, quirky bits and pieces we collect. They all seem to hold memories of good times.
    Really love the way you work, especially the portraits.

    1. Hi Kev,
      It may feel difficult to let go of memory laden old stuff, but I find it also opens up wonderful new horizons and makes it possible for new things to arrive. I really believe that the more we hold on to things like that, the less we are able to open ourselves to present and future experiences. There are new memories to be made!! Then again, I have been accused of being unsentimental!