Thursday, April 15, 2010

sketching honesty

Stop two : University of Virginia.

university of virginia

It's interesting to me how sketches can evoke memories. That is, after all, a big part of the reason I'm so hell-bent on documenting my life in drawings. This little guy, for instance, reminds me of the beautiful day, the warm weather, my mom (who joined us on the field trip) and relaxation.

peachtree westin
On the other hand, this sketch from a couple of weeks ago, sends me back to another type of place and mood. I've been fighting with some pretty intense feelings of depression here lately [and yes, I did just admit that publicly], a big part of which came to head at the conference in Atlanta where I felt as though I was simply existing, not connecting. When I look back at the drawing I appreciate it's technical qualities, but feel no love for it. It doesn't make me happy, but sad. I also drew many other things on that trip, but, for this same reason, have yet to post them here. Maybe I will one day, maybe not.

I'm curious of whether others of you get tied up in your own work this way...do they [your sketches, paintings, poems...] transport you to places you want to go, want to avoid? Is this a sign of authenticity?

11 comments:

Laure Ferlita said...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words - how much, then, is a sketch with our own feelings, thoughts and emotions attached to the page?

I don't think it gets any more authentic than this and I think we do well to "listen" to those emotions and thoughts and feelings when we look back on a sketch and notice their existence. They're speaking to us about something we need to hear....

Anonymous said...

On the days that you feel that you are not connecting, please know that I visit your site daily as an inspiration to keep practicing my drawing. Have started late in life and your site is a HUGE motivator. Thanks so much,

Jasmine said...

I agree. When I look back at my drawings, I can remember the smell, the temperature, the mood of that day. It can be an emotional experience.

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Suzanne, it seems that everything you've been posting recently resonates so strongly with how I feel.

I am making a drawing at this moment in time that mirrors exactly what you have talked about in this post. When it's finished I intend to make a post on this very subject.

Then there was the 'starting projects' post that you made a little while back that smacked of how I work. You just happen to put it so much more eloquently than I ever could.

cindy said...

i agree and my photos will remind me of certain events, good or bad. or, creative periods, good or bad. they'll make me feel like i've progressed or my best work is behind me, sometimes in extreme ways.

i think it does represent authenticity if not reality. the mere absence of color in the second sketch says something and does speak to you not feeling connected. i'm just sorry you're in that place.

suzanne cabrera said...

Thank you all. Thank you very much.

Keith said...

It always amazes me how much you can remember from a sketch, I was talking about this with a friend just the other day, how the weather, how you felt, the noises around you, they all concertina into the page as you draw. It's like a pop up book only you have access to.

MoolyBee said...

I have sketches on tiny scraps of paper which I've toted from one house to another, because of the connection I had with that moment, then I have huge unfinished bound sketchbooks, with drawings that mean nothing to me, except that I 'thought' I should draw that at that time.

When I'm happy, I draw. When I'm unhappy or stressed out, I read. One's an expression, the other is an escape. I come regularly to your blog because your posts are fun and usually inspiring in some way. You can allow yourself some disconnect - it's how you realize what you miss, and then find your new direction. (At least it was for me after our move here.)

It's authentic if you feel anything when you look at it later, and don't care or think of what anyone else will think about it, as it's not for anyone else.

Fran said...

I am the same way. When I have something positive to share, it's always out there, but if the image evokes some sort of negative or lack of emotion, I often don't post it. I have a whole sketchbook of things I draw when I'm just in a funk. And those things, I don't post.

aimee said...

your last paragraph nails it head-on for me... the closer i am in touch with myself, the more authentic my doodles are. sometimes they're bridges, sometimes they just photograph a moment... but when i look back at work i've done when i was wanting to avoid certain things, the drawings seem outside of myself, almost to the point of emotionless.

i've been thinking about you a lot! sending hugs your way.

Kate said...

Hi, I have been reading your blog for well over a year now. This post got me in the tummy.
I am sorry you are having a difficult time! I am inspired by the fact that, even in the toughest of times, you still pick up the pens and draw. You may not create a happy, silly, colorful drawing but, you got a drawing! You get an authentic drawing.

Thank you for sharing!