I’m really getting far too involved with this sketchbook… page after page of lines, watching the papers respond to the pencil marks, the pressure of the mark-making, the fixative spray (I use very soft leads, 7 or 8B, so the fixative – cheap hairspray – allows some of the graphite to smudge and rub off, but not too much).
The soft, torn edges make me think of landscapes, the pencil marks of footsteps.
I’ve been thinking alot about reflective (and reflexive) practice recently, specifically since finishing the Artist Teacher Scheme, and having some time to absorb the experience and process what I have learned and accomplished. I think this repetitive and meditative drawing process encourages the thinking process. It’s been such a manic year this year in terms of personal and professional artistic practice, that I’ve needed the down time the summer holiday has afforded me, a pile of interesting books, and the re-engagement with the writing process, to begin to unpick some of the tangle of thoughts in my brain.
I’ve recently begun to read a book called Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development by Gillie Bolton. The book is for education, health and social services professionals, but I’m also finding many parallels with my personal artistic practice, as well as my professional practice as an Artist Educator in relation to the ATS. I’m only a few chapters in, but I’ve already experienced several penny-dropping moments. Last night when I sat writing in my notebook, I felt as if a dam was beginning to break – I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with the thoughts, ideas, and mental connections which were clamouring to be let out onto the pages.
I’m slowly beginning to catch sight of some of the answers to my questions about why my artistic practice manifests itself in the way that it does, why I am so strongly drawn to certain materials and processes… and maybe being able to start articulating those answers.
Meanwhile, I continue drawing and making, reading and writing… drawing and making…