It’s finished and submitted and sitting in a Brooklyn art library, but it took ages to decide what to do for my second Sketchbook Project. It’s about that most obvious of all lame art anxieties – that of the blank page. And, also about being ‘good.’ Sigh, or better. Thus I had almost a year with it empty. I’m a bit slow on the pick up, but the lesson I finally learned is art doesn’t have to be good, because sure, it is a thing to look at, but for the artist, it’s a verb.
Anyway after months of agonising, it dawned on me that the summer Drop by Drawing classes at the NGV could be for my gorram project book. And so it came to pass, sort of. The title is Past Imperfect Present Tense, and this lil book explores what I achieved over this last summer – mostly during my month of Sundays at the NGV. Furthermore, as there wasn’t quite enough, I thought I would contrast recent sketches to earlier arting about as a teen and as a student in my 20s when I could just about afford watercolours and some pens, but didn’t posses a license or a car for more adventurous or crazier pursuits. See, there is a purpose to hoarding after all!
Last time, I worried about filling all the spaces, this time, I was less worried about all the white pages and I think the book might be better for it. It was less busy, I think.
The task of turning a bunch of paper into some kind of coherent pictorial narrative reminds me of IQ questions asking me to identify the next correct shape in a series, except I made up the series across the set 16 small pages.
Animals, cityscapes and architecture, leaves and abstracts. Somehow, I managed to make it fit, even as I relearned things I had long forgotten: a part of myself.
Anyway, all of this is sitting in New York with others of its kind. What else do you do with imperfect art made last summer, and 20 years ago?