Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pre-progress Alicia - "Rowing Boat" Group 7

Rowing Boat

So far, I’ve “researched” rowing boats, discovering that the simple row boat is not the only option: I’ve got kayakes, canoes, dinghies, skulls and probably even more. Or not. I see that most of those just mentioned depend on paddling, not rowing.

At the beginning of every project, I am at my most literal. Abstractions grow later. In my sketch book, I’m teaching myself to draw rowboats, borrowing heavily from photographs and instructional drawing books. With the Art Institute’s library within easy reach, that’s a lot of instruction.

The writing component is trickier for me just now because I don’t have a text of any relevance handy, which means writing one. I trust this will emerge from the freewriting and “coincidences” bound to reach me as I ponder the project. In fact, I recently took a workshop in developing intuition through imagination (see and one of the exercises involved describing, in great detail, a boat. This exercise alone could be a small artist book. It well may be.

When I’m not pondering the images or the text, I’m playing with the structure. If the boat is in movement, I want a book that moves. One of my favorite structures is a “meander” book, a folded sheet that yields 32 pages. There are pivotal pages that literally turn the book around. I’ve always wanted to focus movement on those pages.

Finally, there’s an idea/practice I’m committed to which involves using, as material, pages from the many many journals I’ve kept since 1967.  I want to re-use, recycle and re-invent these pages before I die or have to throw them away because they won’t fit into my cell at the old folk’s home.  They are, mercifully, no longer precious. They have become the sea upon which my little boat floats.

Here are some pages from my sketchbook.


Group 7 “Rowing Boat”


AES said...

It is fascinating hearing your thought processes. I have to admit I am especially interested, as we are in the same group. Thanks for sharing.

rObfOs said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sketchbook pages Alicia. There's so many deep thinkers participating in this project!

Sara Bowen said...

Yes, it's really interesting seeing how differently everyone works! I love the fact that you're re-using your previous journals, and also that you view the whole process as a journey.

Julie Russell-Steuart said...

Loved seeing your sketchbook pages. Feeling a concept out is wonderful stage to be in.

Arzigogolare said...

Tracing the path from literal to abstract is such an interesting part of the process, I find, as is the evolution of a text as research/experimentation take you deeper into a project. I also love the back-and-forthing between working on content and small tugs in different directions, which finally merge into an integrated piece. I'm looking forward to seeing how you resolve the movement aspect. Since I am also in group 7, I will be able to experience this at some point! Enjoy the process...
- Lisa

Sending Pages Out to Dry said...

Thanks, all. Reporting on the process is yet another part the project. I love reading your comments and then going on to the next artist's installment.