Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A new Moleskine began Jan 16th 2011

As I reach the end of a sketch book the temptation to rush and finish it can be very hard to resist! But I have learnt to enjoy slowing down and savouring the last couple of pages and making sure they are just as interesting (to me) as the first page. I do set myself a target of 8 weeks per book give or take a few days. At times, like Christmas when I am quite busy I'll stretch that to 10 weeks, but I don't feel happy about it. My challenge to myself is a minimum of one two page spread per day, so no sleep till I have achieved at least that! I put little clues on eventful days so when I look back through the book I have clear memories of what I was doing on hat day.  Having said that, once a few months (or years) have passed I can look through a book and have no recollection of any of it!
Over time I have collected a large stash of finished books that sit in the corner of my studio daring me to do something with them. I did break one of my most fundamental rules by selling one of the books to the the Aldrich Collection. I feel pretty ambivalent about that as I am not particularly attached to my books in fact I am strangely detached from them. I do though see the need of keeping them together simply as a sequence, every book represents a chunk of my life.
There is one volume that is more precious to me than the others, and it was the book that saw me through the awful last weeks of my pregnancy in 2003, the birth and then the death of my beautiful, perfect 7.5 lbs baby boy Cyrus five days later. It was that book that kept me sane. Some of the images and words are still very raw and I find it very difficult to look at them. One day I may summon the courage to publish some of the pages but I don't see the point of involving innocent bystanders in my own personal tragedy. I don't know I am writing this, it isn't something I have ever talked about to anyone other than my doctor and family , but heyho it's out there now.
Once a book is finished it joins it's predecessors on the shelf and I can pick a new one from my new pile. The feel, smell, and hope that com with a new book are one of my life's little pleasures. I'm excited, enthusiastic and full of ideas. So my new book on January !6th and I'm already 4 pages in. The book still looks and feels new , so I am still treating it with a stupid reverence that will shortly wear off ( thankfully).

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