Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Sketchbook Diaries: The Ardor of the Sacred Book

Awkwardly Beautiful, red ribbon installation, 2015. Stylishly fashionable Camille (curator of Sketchbook Diaries) and I. Ah, back when red lipstick wanted to be another accessory to every art opening.
As I browsed through blogger drafts on this pleasant Sunday afternoon, I couldn't resist completing this oldie but goodie post about the not easily forgotten Sketchbook Diaries show at Philly's Goldilocks Gallery- a gallery/performing arts venue allowing emerging artists to showcase manifested visions on their own terms. I wanted to share this little story about how wonderful sketchbooks are, especially considering that such a warm wondrous afternoon begs for an artist to sit outside and either plein air pleasant environments basking in radiant sun or sporadic thoughts swimming inside their creative mind.
Sketchbook Diaries, a fun, playful, short exhibit (it was up for a few days), entailed that a sketchbook is more than a container of burgeoning starts and brilliant thoughts. The exhibit relied on audience interaction. By consisting of artists' sketchbooks with their favorite pages blown up and attached to walls, the featured artists asked for immediate participation, inviting viewers to open up intimate objects, to see range of black and white drawings to full blown color experiments, to read private words discussing happy, sad, dispirited, longing emotional tones. These books were different from one another-- traditionalist black journals and spiral bound to handmade books strung together with ribbon and unevenly cut artist papers. From quick gestural sketches to precise attention to detail, skill sets balanced between abstract and representational. Poems, love song lyrics, prose, short fiction, and daily chronicles filled pages alongside drawings and paintings.
Moreover, Sketchbook Diaries' brief showing expressed a joint love for art and writing, for those who have a sentimental attachment, an endearing fondness for the sketchbook practice. In this contemporary now, the sketchbook has remained a tried and true enjoyment, revealing each individual's unique approach to documenting their life stories.

Patrons were invited to take handmade books comprised of white envelopes sewn together.
Take one.
The bold arm cross pose with Eli coming in. We're standing in front of my dear friend's romantic, atmospheric paintings of mysterious trysts and candid writings on unrequited love and hope. Ian Wagner is not only a great writer and painter/illustrator, he has self-published several books and runs his own film/graphic design firm, MindRift Creations.
And thus Eli, Camille, and I struck some kind of uncoordinated pose triad. Eat you hear out, Vogue.

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