In Between Time
My black sketchbook period 1994-2003
It's the week between Christmas and New Years. For me, this has always been a sort of magical week. As a child, it was vacation week. No school and time to play with all the new Christmas toys.
As an adult it retained that wonderment, it has become a time for reflection. I think about the past.
April 1994 Loyal Black (wanting a dog)
In late 1993 I moved to a quiet tourist town by the water in an apartment above a store front on the Main Street. Leaving a rough urban environment for a tranquil one. There were trees and the sea, boats, ships and a rich history in nautical subjects. I chose to leave the city to "quiet" down.
Specks of pollen fall gently on my face- April 1994
My apartment was the top floor, It had 14 windows and saw the sky during all phases of the day. Each afternoon I took lengthy walks, exploring and getting fresh air. I read a lot.
1998 Cookie my dachshund, a puppy at the time
I didn't watch TV and this was pre-internet days. Just reflecting on that is something, do you remember the days when there was no relentless checking of e-mail and updating web sites and yes blogs.
Moving to the "country" I briefly thought about taking horse riding lessons
I went within myself. I wanted to focus on art. I painted more, I experimented more, but one of the most productive things from those days was I kept a visual diary- sketchbook. Today I reflect on that work from that period.
Garden works 1996
At that time in the art shops sold these black and tan papered sketchbooks, they were novel back then. I bought them up, small ones, only 6 " x 6" - At that time I was a busy illustrator working in gouache. I would use the extra paint from a left over jobs to relatively go nuts in these black books. The gouache was so bright against the black paper. I experimented with collage, found objects, paint. I allowed myself to have freedom.
I reflect back from that time and become nostalgic. I've always kept a sketchbook, work books, job books, but those books were special.
Sometime in 1999
Around 2002 I stopped painting in gouache and made the leap to create all commercial work digitally. I would use acrylic paint to do my "fine art" my more personal works. But the gouache was left out, as well as those black sketchbooks.
Winter 2000 must have been a cold day
These days I carry a moleskine or a handbook sketchbook. Mainly for sketching on the train as I travel to my teaching job in the city. The "black sketchbook" days lasted about 10 years, with over 25 books and hundreds of pages.
I worked out various ways to express my daily experience as they were intend to be a visual diary.
Since that period I've retained the adventurer spirit, one of experimentation with printmaking specifically linocuts and even digitally. Reflecting on the past year, I've been taking chances within my work and gaining newer ways to express the world the way I see it.
Christopher's birth (my nephew) August 1999
I am still excited daily to be an artist. People who meet me sometimes don't understand that passion, or they are very taken in by it.
experimentation 1994- cut-outs dangling on string
Reflecting on the New Year I hope to leap into the next level, but if I find a period much like my "black sketchbook" period I'll be thrilled, and happy to explore that next realm of possibilities.
I seem to recall that was some party August 1997
© Heidi Younger